AHMEDABAD: A beggar on Saturday proved that charity only needs a big heart rather than deep pockets. Khimjibhai Prajapati, 64 and a beggar in Mehsana for a decade, donated clothes to 11 poor hearing and speech-impaired girls at the Shrimati Kesarbai Kilachand School for the Deaf.
Rich philanthropists have been a more common sight but it was the first time ever that a beggar had walked into the school to share his savings. It was an unusual sight. An unkempt Khimjibhai in tattered, unwashed clothes, limped through the school gates on crutches and placed the brand new clothes in the hands of 11 eager girls. He had used his savings of Rs 3,000 to buy the clothes.
Khimjibhai begs outside the Simandhar Swami Jain Temple in Mehsana and outside the Hanuman Temple. He lives nearby and asks the devotees for alms.
So why did he give alms to the unfortunate children at the school? Khimjibhai said, “I just need two meals a day and some money to send back to my ailing wife in Rajkot to cure her ulcers and lung infection. Apart from this, whatever I earn I use to buy food for poor, hungry people. Since a long time I wished to do something for girls and I am happy to donate for them”.
Khimjibhai used to run a tea stall in Rajkot but escalating prices and shrinking profit margins wreaked huge losses and left him on the streets.
His faith in God brought him to Mehsana where he took shelter outside the Jain temple. “Whether rich or poor, one should always try to help the needy,” he says. Khimjibhai helped an orphanned girl marry some time ago.
Bharat Shah, a trustee of the institution that runs the school, said, “I have never seen such philanthropy in the 35 years of career. He just goes on to prove that the true donor is he who has one roti and shares half with the hungry.”
One of those who received clothes was Swati Bhagwandas, an orphan who has been at the residential school for years. The 18-year old’s eyes shone with happiness.