THE TEENAGER TODAY has always been a magazine with a difference! A significant way your magazine has maintained this distinct characteristic from its very inception is placing before its readers inspiring life stories of people from all walks of life, who they can look up to as their role models. More especially over the recent months, while we kept introducing new columns, specially geared to our specific readership, and inviting new contributors to join our writers’ gallery, we strictly adhered to this.
This thought has been uppermost in our minds when choosing cover stories, lead articles and even news bits from our schools and junior colleges. They all have a message to convey to the readers like the beautiful musical presentation, When You Believe, by Fr Agnel Multi-purpose School & Junior College, Ambernath (Maharashtra) or the brief profile of Arundhati Banerjee, a teenager of Indian origin who now lives in Australia.
The March issue also brings you the true story of Sindhutai, one of the most touching real life stories that I have read in the recent past. Think of a 9-months pregnant lady, thrown out of the house by her husband, giving birth to a child in a cattle shed, and on return to her mother’s house being turned away by her becoming the “mother of over 1400 orphans.” Having nowhere to go she thought of committing suicide first, but gave up the idea and started begging at railway platforms to feed her child and herself!
Ironically, this becomes the turning point in her life. Mai (that’s how her numerous children call her) recalls: “When I was on the street begging for food and fighting for survival, I realised that there are hundreds of orphans like me who have nowhere and nobody to go. So, I decided to take care of them, and raise them as my own…. I had no one with me; everyone abandoned me. I knew the pain of being alone and unwanted. I did not want anyone to go through the same experience.” To eliminate the feeling of partiality among her “children”, she even sent away her biological daughter to a care taker home in Pune, who today runs an orphanage herself!
At the ripe age of 72, Sindhutai experiences a tremendous sense of joy, the joy of giving which can also be ours, if we are willing to follow her example, making a difference in the lives of people around.