She could have given private tuition on a commercial basis and made a huge buck garnering comforts and luxuries. Or she could have pursued recreational activities and hobbies in free time. But No. After all she is not an ordinary person bound by self-interest, career and consumerism. She is Kanta Chakraborty. Aged about 54 years. Resident of Dumdum, in the Northernmost fringe of Kolkata. Teacher at a primary school, at the Southernmost fringe of Kolkata.
While availing Metro service on her way to school; she noticed the destitute, orphans and poor children leading a hell-like existence amid hunger, neglect and exploitation at Dumdum station complex. Just like the "clever" lot; she could have treated them as "dirt" and "liabilities" or ignored their existence. She could have accused the concerned authorities for taking greater interest in space missions, gigantic statues, lofty flags, Bullet trains or film festivals instead of taking up the responsibility of innumerable helpless children of Mother India.
But not she. Because she is none other than Kanta Chakraborty --- a true servant of God and protector of humanity.
In 2007, she took up the responsibility of five beggar girls. Within three years; she started teaching, feeding, clothing and protecting 20 girls --- between three to 10 years of age i.e. the most vulnerable lot.
She starts the day at 4 am and reaches Dumdum station at 4.30 am. The next few hours get spent in bathing, feeding, giving extra-curricular lessons and sending the girls to go to a Government school charging nominal fee as a tie-up with the Nihar Kanya Rehabilitation Centre started by her. Thereafter Chakraborty heads off to her own school, located at the other end of the city, and by 6 pm, she is again back to Dumdum station complex to teach the girls. After putting the girls to sleep at 9 pm after feeding them, Chakraborty finally returns home to again wake up at 4 am!
Though the expenses of paying school fees, books, food and clothing are borne by Chakraborty; many others have come forward to offer their helping hand by drawing inspiration from her selfless service towards humanity. A doctor extends free health check up to the girls. An art teacher conducts a free drawing class. The hawker union has opened up it's room to the girls for night stay with the members of the union sleeping outside. The station authorities, RPF and GRP cooperate with Chakraborty to ensure protection of the girls. A leading English daily of Kolkata, often covers the yeoman service rendered by her and felicitated her as an educationist thereby bringing her humanitarian work in limelight.
And last but not the least. Her husband Chandan Chakraborty, working in a printing press, has offered all moral and financial support to the noble cause of his wife.
While returning from office, I have often come across this great lady teaching the girls in Dumdum station complex. My heart asks me to meet her and offer my assistance in whatever way possible. But am I ready to sacrifice my financial interest, family obligations and leisure time for the sake of those innocent children? And my ordinariness as a human being once again enlightens me how gallant at heart this Kanta Chakraborty is! What sacrifice of self is she making for playing the greater role of serving the much neglected and deprived children of God! Perhaps when I can succeed in approaching Chakraborty by getting rid of all my doubts, hesitation and self-interest and offer my assistance in whatever form; will I assume myself as taking the first small step towards humanity.
This guilty consciousness on the part of me has perhaps inspired me to highlight her on the occasion of Children's Day as a tribute to Kanta Chakraborty --- the Mother(surely by selfless deed) of the helpless children.
Mr.Gopalkrishna Gandhi had ended an English article on Mother Teresa with these Bangla words --- 'Aami Tomake Pronam Kori'(I offer my Pronam to you). In the similar vein, I also salute her through the exact same words.