The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Generally, the children are a reflection of their parents who are considered to be the most important influence in their lives in the most formative years. Like parents, like child, the idiom has been aptly justified in my life as well. The genes get transferred to the next generation and a pedigree is created to keep up the legacy. The investment of energy and time by the parents to inculcate family values and ethos never goes in vain. It is reflected in actions of the succeeding generations. Their good work also brings happiness to their progeny. This thought also applies to my life.

I lost my father at the age of four. I didn’t have any idea about his nature, attitude, habits and character at that tender age. As I grew up, I learnt about his good qualities and personality traits from my elder brother, mother and villagers. Yesterday, marked the death anniversary of my father and in a tribute meeting the villagers talked about how I have carried the philanthropic gene of my father and many of his good qualities. They remembered how my father would help everyone in the village, sponsor education of the needy and bring goodies for the children despite being a petty worker in a big organization. He would never think twice about spending on others, even if he didn’t have money for his family. At times, he would take hand loans to help people in need. I was feeling immensely proud.

One of the villagers also remembered how father saved Rs. 40,000 at that time by working double time his shift to make a water reservoir in the Paika river, a tributary of Mahanadi passing through our village. He was saving bit by bit just to help the villagers get water available for all days in the year. My father, instead of making our lives more comfortable or reducing our own miseries, was thinking about village development. Practically, my father without knowing or understanding art of giving was following its principles to the core. I thank God for blessing me with such values because of which I selflessly devote myself to social service.

I feel so contended that I have taken his dream of developing his native village to another level by making Kalarabanka as the first smart village and it’s entire panchayat (cluster of villages) as a smart panchayat by bringing all city amenities to the village. We have also got a bridge constructed on the Paika river through repeated requests to the government.

Like father like son is such a practical idiom in my case. I didn’t spend much time with my father to learn his values and etiquettes but it was genetically transferred to me – be it his kindness or his spirituality. I didn’t grow up in his shadow, but his genes have come as a blessing that makes me work towards development and upliftment of people.