We learnt the importance of saving.

My CDK helped my family during the lockdown.
We learnt the importance of saving.

A 14-year-old boy, Abdul Nasir lives in one of the busy lanes near the historic monument Jama Masjid in North Delhi. Nasir hails from a small village in Bihar, an eastern state in India. His father used to work as a watchman at an ATM booth who lost his job during the first wave of the pandemic in the year 2020. Nasir lives in the motor market near Jama Masjid along with his father and a few friends (commonly known as Motor Market, it is one of the largest markets for motor equipment’s in North Delhi).

After the first COVID-19 wave, sensing his father helplessness, Nasir chose to be an assistant in one of the motorbike repair shop and started helping out at the shop from December 2020. Barely three months after he started assisting at the repair shop, there was the second wave of COVID 19 and lockdown of Delhi was announced, leading to shutting down of shops. Within days, the pandemic was raging, and curfews shut the lives of daily wagers.

Intrigued by CDK Nasir joined Butterflies in 2016, and since then he has been an active member of Children’s Development Khazana (CDK). CDK was the program that attracted him the most as he says, “Whatever little money I earned could be kept safely after joining CDK”. Before becoming a member of CDK, his money was either stolen or lost in the market where he used to sleep. Butterflies also helped him to develop an interest in education and got him enrolled in the government school nearby.

Nasir has been consistently making transactions with the limited money that he earned. Primarily he used his current account because he had to often withdraw his savings for his daily needs or to help his father. However, gradually after learning more about importance of savings, he also started saving. Though he did not have a regular and consistent income, he was able to save 800 INR in his saving account after the first wave of the pandemic hit the country. He realized that it was important to have a saving for emergencies and situations of uncertainties.

During the second wave of the pandemic Nasir and his father felt compelled to return to their village as lockdown was imposed and they realised it would be extremely difficult to survive in Delhi without an income. In the village, they got ration from the government shop but that seemed inadequate for a five-member family. Their dilapidated house a roof that required repair added to their woes.

Nasir witnessing his family struggles not only for food but also for a roof over their heads and acute economic distress; Nasir, thought about his CDK. Although he did not have too much of savings, he was eligible for an advance. He sent an application for welfare advance and the advance committee readily approved it, and Nasir got the advance.

Nasir said, “I felt good that I helped ease my family’s struggles through CDK Advance. I borrowed Rs.1000, which was a lot of money at that point in time. Nobody wants to lend, as all are in fear that the money will not be returned, and moreover, no one in the village had money to spare, but I knew that my CDK will help me”. When Nasir handed over the money to his father, His father hugged him, he became emotional, and his father’s eyes  welled up with tears. His father is normally not very demonstrative. Nasir mentioned to his father, “Once we return to Delhi, I will save more in CDK. Budgeting and saving money is so important; one never knows when a crisis could happen suddenly.” His father promised to save part of his earnings, however, small it is as he realised the wisdom of his son Nasir


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