As much as it is cherished for its magical charm, monsoon in Mumbai is also quite notorious for the endless inconveniences it causes – ranging from flooded streets to an inevitable onset of infectious ailments.
The situation is undoubtedly worse for the street-dwellers and slum residents, whose makeshift shanties and paltry belongings are often washed away in the torrential overpours. Their children, clad in drenched and tattered clothes, shiver while muttering prayers to make the rains stop.
No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank
A Girl Begged Him For His Umbrella
27-year-old Vimal Cherangattu had a similar encounter. Two years ago, he was stuck in traffic during a heavy shower. Outside his car, it was pouring cats and dogs, but it failed to deter a young girl from selling roses in front of halted cars, like every other day. The girl, with her baby brother in her arms, approached Vimal urging him to buy roses, which he refused.
“Suddenly, she made an unusual request. She kind of begged me to give her my umbrella. As soon as I handed over my old umbrella to her, she ran to one side and called her friends. Immediately, four other kids popped up from here and there and rushed together under that one umbrella, with broad grins brightening up their faces as well as my day,” narrates Vimal.
A Single Facebook Post Started The Cover Project
The incident deeply moved Vimal who realised how an object as trivial as an umbrella can be a lifesaver for these homeless street children. Soon, he wrote a Facebook post, appealing to everyone to donate their old umbrellas to the street kids near them.
“The post got circulated like wildfire. It served as an eye-opener for many others like me. They all came together and prodded me with the idea of ‘The Cover Project’,” he shares.