Needs v/s wants : An eye opener

–  IFD Adarsh Bhat (Batch 2012-13)

An incident that inspired me was a visit to one of the villages to facilitate PRA activities. As we were going about the exercises, the boys with China-made mobile phone blasting Hindi movie hits from the 90’s came forward and asked us how these activities were going to help them increase their income and other questions along the same line. We came up with answers for those. Then a young woman dressed in traditional one-piece sari, baby hanging off her body in a make-shift bath towel hammock, came forward to participate. Among other questions, we asked her about her annual income. She answered “Some 5000-7000 rupees.”

But it was the expression on her face that caught my attention. It was one that clearly suggested that the money really had no value in her life. She could very well do without the concept of money at all.  Later Imageon, we said that the PRA will help her see the shortcomings that exist in her society and help her improve her income and lead a better life. She had something to say.

She said in Odiya “What will I do with more money? I go collect “katho” (firewood) from the forest; we also have fruits that we get from the forest. Pumpkin grows on the climber that runs on my roof, along with other vegetables in my yard. We also have quite a few hens that will lay eggs. We get rice from our farm and sugar from the PDS shop within my 5000 rupees. My son takes the goats and cattle to graze. And I wear flowers in my hair every day from Budri’s(neighbour) garden.”

This was an inspiring moment for me because it clearly told me that I have given value to the wrong things in life. We have given money so much value, far ahead of the basic things in life. Her life was so simple and yet she was completely content with everything. One might argue saying, she hasn’t seen the world, and thus she is like a frog in the well. But I would like to ask, “Does she really need to?”

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One Response to Needs v/s wants : An eye opener

  1. Hitesh Rawtani says:

    Money by itself does not have any value. It’s what we buy with that money that may have value. I say may because we could waste it by spending on something that is not valuable at all. I recently read an article on ‘Can money buy happiness?’ and the answer was ‘Yes, if you spend in on right things i.e. things/experiences that truly matter to you’. For this woman, most of the things that matter to her do not require money and for the few that do, 5000 Rs is enough. The question that we need to ask ourselves is what truly matters to us.

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