In 2009, we pondered about a truly unique way to celebrate parents’ golden jubilee wedding anniversary the next year. Consensus quickly emerged that a perfect gift for the couple would be a community project.
Ms Sumana, our former teacher, involved in social work in Burgula, recommended constructing a mini auditorium in school for extracurricular activities. It would be useful for thousands of indigent students over several decades. Local family members ensured that the hall was built in a timely manner. After arrival of the rest of the family, the surprised parents inaugurated the hall in the presence of close friends. The school children and staff expressed their gratitude through a cultural program. On that day, an eye camp was conducted in which about 200 glasses were distributed and 30 people taken for cataract surgery, restoring their vision. Sports equipment was distributed to youth and school kids. A record number of people donated blood along with some of the family members. Dental hygiene equipment and school stationery were provided to almost 550 students. Blood hemoglobin levels were checked in high school students, and those with low levels were treated.
Grandchildren felt that it was the best surprise gift given to their grandparents as it permanently impacted the lives of lots of people for several decades. Almost five years later, everyone has nice memories of the celebration—a truly unique tribute to a couple who always believe in giving.