Sudha Murthy, popularly known as Sudha Amma, has inspired us in many different ways. Sometimes with her powerful stories, sometimes with her determination and sometimes with her acts of kindness.
Today, we want to share one of the powerful stories from her book ‘Here, There and Everywhere‘ that shows how a student taught her the most valuable lesson about honesty.
It was during the time when philanthropist-author Sudha Murthy decided to sponsor a child’s education. But, she never expected that the student, though unintentionally, would end up teaching her a big lesson on honesty.
An academically bright student, Hanumanthappa, captured Sudha Murthy’s attention when she saw his photograph in a newspaper. Despite being financially poor, Hanumanthappa secured the eighth rank in class 10th board examinations in Karnataka.
In her book ‘Here, There and Everywhere’, while sharing the details about Hanumanthappa, Sudha Murthy mentioned,
“He was frail and pale, but there was an endearing sparkle in his eyes. Hanumanthappa was a coolie’s son, the oldest of five children. His father, the sole breadwinner earned only Rs 40 a day.”
She further mentioned that the lack of money forced this young bright student in his teens to quit studies after 10th.
Being interested in the boy’s education, Murthy invited Hanumanthappa to her office and offered to pay for “any course of study he wishes to take up – wherever it maybe”.
Even though Sudha offered him “wherever”, this young lad choose the option of enrolling himself in Teachers’ Training College in Bellary, which would have cost Sudha Murthy only Rs. 300 per month.
Murthy’s pitch for taking up “any course” at whatever fees failed to make any difference to his decision.
Even though Sudha Murthy was paying for his expenses, the lad still made every effort on keeping his expenses down. Sudha mentioned:
“He planned to take a room on rent and share it with a friend. The two boys would cook for themselves in order to keep their expenses down. I sent him Rs 1,800 to cover his expenses for six months.”
Hanumanthappa’s inspirational effort of making sure that he doesn’t waste a single penny definitely calls for applause. But, there is more to the boy’s humility that would touch your heart.
Before long Sudha Murthy received an envelope from Hanumanthappa which had some currency along with a letter. The letter said:
“Madam, I was not in Bellary for last two months. One month our college was closed for holidays and during the next month, there was a strike.
My expenditure during these months was less than Rs 300 per month. Therefore, I am sending you the Rs 300 that I have not used.”
While sharing how overwhelmed she was by boy’s honesty, Murthy told PTI:
“In my work, 80 per cent of the time people cheat, they run away with money, they lie but there are good things too. And I choose to write about the good and positive things.
“Like in this case, the boy knew I expected no account of the money sent to him for his monthly expenses, yet he returned the balance amount. Unbelievable but true!.”
You can find the book here.
At IFORHER, we applaud the honesty of this young boy and hope this story will inspire many parents to inculcate the value of honesty among young boys and girls.