There’s a personal joke that I find incredibly funny. It comes along way too often and stars people that I know way too many times. Goes something like this:
“I have nothing to wear,” she said, standing in front of a wardrobe bursting with clothes that cost more than an average nuclear family’s monthly food budget.
Relatable, amusing, I know. Aside from the blatant ignorance of privilege here, there is nothing wrong with this joke. Let me make something clear: I am not making you feel ashamed of being privileged; it would be hypocritical of me to do so since I’m the one who has a personal laptop and a passable grasp of worldly affairs.
I’m asking you to consider- really think about- what privilege actually is.
Did your father ever have to worry about where the school fee for your next quarter will come from? Did he have to take up more than one job to support the family? Did your mother have to do the same? Were you forced to miss out on a good educational opportunity because you couldn’t afford to pay for it? As of right now, will it be difficult for your family to fork up a couple thousand rupees for a medical emergency? Does the term 'savings' make you roll your eyes and say, "One day?"
If you answered 'No' to some or all of the above questions, you are privileged. In fact, your first clue in this privilege scavenger hunt should have been the ability to read this - in English, on a screen.
There are numerous people who don’t have that. Millions have to choose between education and dinner, working overtime and moving out of their house, going to college and helping out their family with money.
In a country of more than 1.2 billion people, nothing kills dreams like limited means.
Regardless of how much we acknowledge the injustice of it, the rosy lenses we see the world with will always alienate us from the reality of it. We can’t change it, but we can help people work towards doing so.
How many times have you come across someone who you know deserves to be recognized for their immense talent and drive?
Your housekeeper’s son who has a viable business idea, your local newspaper vendor who wants to open his own bookshop or even your friendly neighborhood auto-wale bhaiya who just wants to drive a taxi? Despite their determination, their finances may compel them to think twice about their dreams. Their access to loans is often denied because of their situation or physical condition, circumstances which are beyond their control.
If you want to help them, direct them towards TATA Capital’s new initiative, Salaam Loans.Also known as 'public ke support pe milne wala loan,' the initiative was introduced to help people who otherwise may not be eligible for conventional bank loans due to their financial situations, caste, disability, or even the absence of a suitable collateral. Salaam Loans will help them hit the ground running. All you have to do is nominate someone you think is deserving of this #LoanKaHaq; it can even be you. You may also give the stories your ‘salaam’. Every ‘Salaam’ pushes their loan application that much further to being approved.
Following that, make the story as visible as possible by sharing it with your friends, family, and acquaintances by using the hashtag #LoanKaHaq. Meanwhile, the folks over at TATA Capital will be hard at work reviewing each application, and will soon get in touch with the nominee for further documentation.
You can know more about the loans here.