This man had the courage to keep going. The difficult circumstances in his life did not change, but he believed in his integrity which helped him to achieve the impossible. Kanjee is an educated lawyer, a well-known social activist, working in a top level position at an NGO, has close connections with many politicians and change makers, and is highly respected in his area.
But his journey wasn’t without challenges.
He was in his teens, when one day a shocking incident took place in his life. He walked by the side of the road, hoping for a lift. It was a long way into town to get to college. Finally, double cabin jeep pulled aside and offered him a lift. As they went along the road, the driver, a landlord, asked about him- who was he, where was he from. The boy told him his name was Kanjee. He was in his first year of college and was from the Bheel caste. The driver then told him that if he was Bheel, he would need to sit in the back of the jeep as he belonged to a low caste. Kanjee calmly said that he would not move to the back, but that if the driver felt strongly about it he could pull over and Kanjee would get another lift. The driver pulled off and Kanjee did just that.
Almost twenty years after this incident, Kanjee is now a lawyer. He took the opportunity to fight the case of a girl who was gang raped. He went into one of the villages where the girl’s family lived to offer condolences for their pain. When he arrived, as is the custom for a person of great respect, the landlord bent down and knelt before Kanjee as he entered the village. Kanjee realized that it was the same man who had refused to allow him to ride in the front of his vehicle so many years ago. Yet Kanjee’s humility kept him from making this fact aware to the older man. While he was visiting the family this same man brought Kanjee a drink and gave it to him with his own hand- something you might only do if you thought yourself inferior to the person. As he was leaving, the man even showed Kanjee to his car and opened the door for him.
If Kanjee wouldn’t have stood up for himself that day, his circumstances would have never changed. He came along this far, only because he believed in the power of change. His story is an encouragement for all those who are told they cannot do something but dare to try.
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