The Town Hall auditorium erupted in a thunderous applaud when the Mayor opened the envelope and announced “The award for the NGO of the year goes to ‘Box of Crayon’. Request Ms Manjiri, the founder-director of Box of Crayons to come to the stage and collect the trophy”, continued the Mayor. Manjiri could not believe her ears.

The auditorium was packed with big-wigs from the city, representatives of the renowned NGOs and organisations as part of their CSR outreach. And the media persons as well.

As she walked towards the podium in disbelief, the Mayor announced, “I now call upon Master Chinu to present the award to Ms Manjiri”. This turned out to be another pleasant surprise for her. Covering her mouth with her hand, not able to contain her pleasure and surprise, Manjiri climbed up the steps. Well-dressed Chinu stood with a golden trophy.

Once on stage, with a trophy in hand, Majiri couldn’t hold back her tears. When the Mayor offered her mike, Chinu stepped forward and said, “May I?” The Mayor happily agreed and so did the audience with their cheers.

“Manju Di did not know that Box of Crayon was nominated. It was me, who upon learning about such an event, had registered it. I had learnt about it from a piece of newspaper in which I had got my Bhajiya wrapped. Manju Di you deserve much more than this trophy for sake of many Chinus like me”, he concluded.

By this time Manjiri was chock a block with emotions. She clearly remembered, about two years back, a busy crossroad signal where Chinu, a young boy of 8, was going from one car to another selling the coloring books.  At one such car, he stood a little longer, lost in checking the view inside. Manjiri who was waiting next to the car, on her Scooty, grew curious. A little girl was sitting at the back and was colouring a picture. Chinu tapped on the glass and gestured to the girl to give him the crayon. The little girl hesitated but, in a moment, handed it to Chinu.

Chinu was excited. “I got a crayon”, he shouted and sprinted towards the foot-path where he was accompanied by few more children of his age. In a flash of a second, they got into a nasty fight. It made a ruckus and all waiting at the signal had their eyes on the fight. The fight was over in no time. Chinu was left alone. There he stood with a torn shirt and a piece of crayon which was broken during the fight. He cried aloud.

Wiping tears with the sleeves, he took the crayon and tried colouring one of the pictures in the colouring book. He couldn’t. This time his wail pierced Manjiri’s heart who was on her way to college.

All her way to college, the face of teary-eyed Chinu lingered in her mind. She crossed her heart and decided to do something about it. ‘Box of Crayons’ was thus born. She started spending after-college-hours with the street children, giving them lessons in reading and writing right on the footpath. She poured all her pocket money in meeting the expenses. She persuaded many of her friends to donate or to join her. In two years’, time, Box of Crayons had about 20 odd children.

“Much needs to be done”, she would always tell the children and herself. Her purpose for attending the event was to meet the influential people to help her get the funds to bring the street boys and girls in the mainstream of education.

“Much needs to be done. And till that time, I have hope for better tomorrow”, said she after getting an upper hand over her emotions and hugged Chinu which was greeted with a standing ovation by the audience!


Picture courtesy Pixabay
Explore previous stories at Stack of Stories
Categories: FictionShort Story

20 Comments

Meena · April 9, 2020 at 7:28 am

Heart touching story anagha. I 😍 it!

Aaditi Dixit · April 9, 2020 at 7:43 am

Very nice and heart warming story. Your stories always gives a nice surprise to me. Thank you for sharing such wonderful thoughts with us.

Simon · April 9, 2020 at 8:14 am

Light-hearted story✨👌 and inspiring ✨ It’s a beautiful writing with a surprise. Great thoughts shared in a way of interesting story. Keep up ✍️✨ Have a beautiful day ✨💐

Samar · April 9, 2020 at 8:18 am

What a beautiful and heartwarming tale in these gloomy times! Much needed!

Ruchi · April 9, 2020 at 8:45 am

Very nice and heart touching story your thoughts 😘

Swarnali Nath · April 9, 2020 at 10:22 am

Anagha, I can’t express in words how much I loved this story. Because, I have a secret wish to work with kids. This thought blossoms many times in heart. And stories like this, always inspire me a lot to dream more and more. Thank you so so much for this soul stirring story. I am loving your stack of stories. Much love.

soniadogra · April 9, 2020 at 10:51 am

Such a heart rending piece. Big opportunities to leave a mark often knock at our door, but it’s the small ones that count.

Ranjini · April 9, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Such a heart warming piece 🙂 Your tiny stories of hope and kindness are so inspiring 🙂

Unishta · April 9, 2020 at 2:08 pm

Manju di is blessed …. teaching is the best thing one can do especially for the underprivileged

Dr. Jyoti Arora · April 9, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Kahan se you bring such inspiring stories. love every word of such heart touching tales. Waiting for more to read. Best Wishes…

jaya1966 · April 9, 2020 at 3:56 pm

What a wonderfully touching story! It is only people like Majiri who make a difference in this world.

Shweta Suresh · April 9, 2020 at 4:32 pm

Such a sweet, moving tale. Moved me to tears. We need more people like Manju Di.

Durga Prasad Dash · April 9, 2020 at 5:22 pm

It is always inspiring to read such positive stories.

Keith's Ramblings · April 9, 2020 at 9:25 pm

A lovely story and just what we need right now!

H is for….

alpanadeo · April 9, 2020 at 10:02 pm

Anagha, I must say, this piece brought moisture to my eyes. I have a desire to work with kids and do something meaning for them. I don’t know if I can be even a fraction of Manju Di but I definitely want to see smile in many Chinu.. lovely and heartfelt piece…touched my heart..

Shreyas Joshi · April 9, 2020 at 10:07 pm

A very heartwarming story. It honestly expresses the idea of ‘giving to society’. This is part of the optical spectrum not seen by all . You have splendidly put a very relevant idea into the the spotlight and motivated me further to reach out to the deserving yet unfortunate without thinking of the benefits, especially in trying times!! Super smoothe read with a moral ending…very emotional write!!

Shilpa Garg · April 10, 2020 at 12:09 am

Beautiful story, made my heart smile. We need such kind and compassionate souls who spread love, light and hope around us!!

Ira Mishra · April 10, 2020 at 2:30 am

Beautiful story…. So touching!! This reminds me of a project we had done as a part of our college where we had provided orphanage kids with colors and papers. And printed greeting cards of the paintings they made and sold them in college and family… And raised some money for that orphanage.

DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter · April 10, 2020 at 2:40 pm

Heart touching and inspiring story. One of the best things I have read today.
#DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter #BlogchatterA2Z

jazzfeathers · April 14, 2020 at 2:54 pm

Aww, you moved me.

@JazzFeathers
The Old Shelter – Living the Twenties

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