This interesting incident has taken place in the state of Andhra Pradesh. We all know many people do not repay even bank loans or loans for various reasons including intentionally. According to the Economic Times, 9 February 2021 (online edition) in India ‘top 100 wilful defaulters owe Rs. 84,632 crore to banks as of March 2020’. Further, the total size of the top 100 wilful defaults rose 5.34 percent in the financial year 2020 from Rs. 80,344 crore as of March 2019, according to the Reserve Bank of India. Even in the case of self-help groups, the huge amount of loan is outstanding. “A loan of over Rs 1.12 lakh crore is outstanding with self-help groups (SHGs) under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM, which is a Government of India Yojana for the rural Below Poverty Line (BPL) families) as of June 30, 2021, while the loan repayment rate by SHGs to banks is 97.17 percent”, (The Economic Times, 30 July 2021, online edition).
But here I am presenting an interesting case that portrays honesty and sincerity to repay a small amount of money. Nemani Pranav, now 21 years old, and his younger sister Suchita presently live in the USA and continue their study. In 2010 (that is 11 years ago) they with their father, Mohon went to a Sea beach located at Kakinada district of East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh. At that time Pranav was only 10 years old and his sister was younger than him. When they were roaming along the Sea beach and enjoying the tides they saw a hawker selling groundnuts. Both the children desired to eat fried groundnuts. The hawker Ginjalla Pedda Satyaiah sold a few packets of groundnuts. We know in those days the handmade paper bags were used for selling the items. When the children started eating, the father found he forgot to bring the money bag. As a result, no money was with him to pay the hawker. Anyway, Mohan took the address of the hawker Satyaiah and a photograph in his camera and promised to pay back the money. In the meantime, Mohon passed away and both his son and daughter went to the USA. But they remembered the incident of not paying money to the hawker. So by staying in the USA they contacted a local influential person who was kind enough to find out the address of the hawker in a small village in present Andhra Pradesh. Both brother and sister came from the USA to meet Satyaiah. By this time, Satyaiah also passed away but they handed over Rs. 25, 000 to their family members on 30 December 2021. They felt happy that at least they could repay the money (they paid more money which I assume) to the family for eating the groundnuts.
I salute to the children for honouring both father and the hawker. Here the proverb is applicable, “Honesty is the best policy”. I believe that is why with their skills they could pursue their study in the USA.
(Necessary inputs have been collected from Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika,online edition, 5 January 2022)