She glanced at the fund transfer for one hundred thousand rupees about to be handed over to College Administration. It was not a huge amount when converted to dollars, but a princely sum in the local economy. She was overjoyed to have facilitated this donation, and her mind went back to the event which made this possible.
The college President had one day called her into his office and outlined his dream of a confectionary industry. This would make it possible for poor students to earn a living while they were at college, and perhaps earn enough to make a contribution to the college as well. She was officially appointed to be in charge.
“But I have no background in running an industry!” she protested.
The Indian President looked surprised. Foreign wives were supposed to be able to do anything, and if not, why did the recruitment office send them overseas?
She could see it was no use arguing. “What about the money to start this dream going?”
“Talk with the finance people, they will arrange for finance,” said the President with a smile.” He was smiling because her husband handled the finances of the college.
So with a plea to the heavens above she commenced operations in her kitchen, borrowing three thousand rupees from family savings to get things going. There was no money in the college bank accounts that could be spared for a new and untried industry.
Students took the kitchen produced food products on the back of their bicycles and sold them to shopkeepers around the city on commission. To her surprise orders poured in and soon the college had to assign a room, and later a building to care for confectionary orders. A small army of students with bicycles materialized to service orders pouring in for the new college products. Many of them would earn their college fees from this daily activity. The President’s goal to have an industry which benefited poor students had been reached in a surprisingly short time.
Now at the end of the first year of operation she was going to fulfil the President’s second goal with a substantial donation to College operations. The loaned personal funds had been retrieved too, much to the relief of her husband.
Efforts put out to develop a purchasing and marketing strategy had paid off. Hours in searching for scrapped industrial ovens and other discarded foods equipment had been well spent. Her bone tiredness due to dawn starts and late night closing had not been in vain. She’d proved foreign wives lived up to their reputation. Well, almost!
Those discarded equipments from the rubbish heap had been made to work under protest, a home kitchen had started what was to become a major industry for the College, and a humble foreign woman who didn’t know her real potential had been the facilitator of it all. The plea to heaven to fulfil the dream of the President had worked.
So if you are ever tempted to doubt you too can achieve great things give it a try just as this brave woman did as she responded to the challenge of her College President. Her experience confirms all things are possible and no challenge is too big to handle.
“© Copyright Ian Grice 2014, all rights reserved”