My name is Velu and I live in a small village near Madras. I am 12 years old. I don’t go to school. I come from a very poor family. My father works in the fields of the Zamindar. My mother works as a servant in the haveli. My father drinks and beats us. I work in a beedi factory. I work from early morning to late night. I feel tired with my work. We work in a dark, crowded and stuffy room. My fingers ache making the beedis. Our master is a hard man; he gives us very little for the work we do. Last year some ‘afsars’ came from Madras and he hid us all. For two days there was no work. We didn’t have enough food to eat. Then soon we were called back. I am not happy. I don’t like to work. I want to learn. It was a journalist who heard our call for help. He took our photos and it was there in a newspaper. You too must have seen it. After that we were rescued by a group of people. But nothing changed. Now we didn’t even have the work and there was no money. My father beat me a lot. All that changed with the arrival of Naidu Sa’ar. Naidu Sa’ar has himself suffered from this trauma in his childhood. He now works in a factory but it is his dream to help as many children as possible. We have begun our effort with our village. Now all of us go to a small school to study and learn. Naidu Sa’ar had helped us to do this. He had put in the money required for all this. Our dream is to also help other poor children in the villages. I am writing this letter to ask you for your help. You are a big man and I have often seen your photo in the newspaper. Please heed our call and send your aid in the name of ‘Mimbangal’- Images. We aim to make a difference in the lives of many youngsters. And we will succeed if you help us.
A fan of yours,
I wrote a fictional letter addressed to a celebrity on the spur of the moment to submit as part of an assignment in ‘Social Marketing’ during my first year of MBA PG degree at NMIMS.
Our Professor shortlisted it along with another submission for it to be narrated to the class. Post the narration a vote was done by show of hands and this piece emerged as the winner. I think it helped that I wrote using very short sentences and as simple words as possible. Many people told me later that they could visualize the story as it was being narrated.