Birthday gift moves Chief Minister to tears

Among the many wishes and greetings from the high and mighty, it was a humble gift of Rs 101, sent by a poor woman labourer to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on his 49th birthday on Monday, which moved him to tears.

A daily wage-earner, Renuka Sahil Gondhali from Chincholi village in Ahmednagar sent the tiny amount, saved from her meagre earnings, by money order to the Chief Minister Relief Fund (CMRF), said an aide to the Chief Minister. Accompanying it was a handwritten letter on a page torn from a notebook in which she expressed gratitude to him for saving her nephew’s life.

She narrated how her five-year old nephew, Vedant Bhagwat Pawar from Kanakori village in Gangapur, Aurangabad was suffering from gallbladder cancer last year. The boy’s parents were too poor and could ill-afford Vedant’s expensive treatment, though they had already spent a large amount to save him.

It was then that Renuka S. Gondhali decided to try her luck by sending an SoS message on the Chief Minister’s mobile requesting for financial aid for her ailing nephew.

Instead of dismissing the SMS, Fadnavis took up the matter promptly, made enquiries and immediately sanctioned Rs 1.90 lakh from the Chief Minister Relief Fund for Vedant’s treatment. This ensured that the boy got proper treatment at the MRCC Children Hospital in Mumbai and the boy is now completely cured, Renuka recounted in her letter.

“CM Saheb, you took my SMS seriously and saved the life of my brother’s son. I pray that you should do such a great service for others too, and hence I am sending a small contribution from my side. God bless you with a long life and you should be given a chance to serve the nation,” Renuka’s letter said and wished him ‘Happy Birthday’.

The aide said that the Chief Minister had received many gifts, best wishes and flowers from many VVIPs, celebrities, diplomats and other dignitaries, but this “invaluable gift of Rs 101 and the simple letter from the lady” made him emotional and left him deeply touched.

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