First Become Financially Independent, Only Then Will You Be Able To Support Your Parents: Sherina Kapany
- IWB Post
- January 8, 2019
Whenever my aunt has to lecture my 27-year-old cousin, who is a huge shopaholic, on the value of money and the importance of saving it, she resorts to shaming him by saying, “17-18 saal ka ladka nahi hai ab tu, stop being careless like a teen when it comes to wasting hard-earned money.” Had she meet 17-year-old Payal, she would have eaten her words as Payal is hailed as an ideal by the younger students in her school and is already dishing out some much-need money management advice to the little kids.
Last year, IWB had come up with the campaign Little Lakshmi and launched its interactive digital handbook on money management. We were in search of young girls who are smart money managers, have savings, and use them meticulously. And that search led us to Vimukti Girls School in Jaipur, which provides free education to the girls of slums, as well as free books, uniforms, stationery, meals, and subsidized transport. It was here that we met Payal, who wowed us with her responsible behavior.
But while she indeed is very sorted about savings and money management, there were some queries that the teen had, so we connected her to Sherina Kapany, founder of SunStrategic, a digital marketing startup which is an all-women management team comprising many from underprivileged backgrounds. Beating the hurdles life lay in her path, Sherina not only empowered herself but also other women she found along the way and is working for the future of underprivileged kids as well.
As their chat progressed, we learned that Payal has a dream to become an IAS officer one day and gives her entire salary to her family every single time.
“I told her that although that is a good thought, she should that giving the majority of her salary to her parents does not make her a good daughter. I am not saying that don’t support them at all, but remember that they told you all their lives to be smart when it comes to money,” Sherina shared. “I guided her how in the coming years what her priorities should be when it comes to the finances and how to handle them. Where to put money, where not to put money, to have her own account that will be her savior when the time comes, where investing money is of utmost necessity and where it can wait.”
“She should add 20% to her savings account, 20% to your current account, 20% to another account which she will vow to touch only when the situation is too critical and demands extra resources. The rest she will have to be intelligent with and give a share of that remaining amount to her family,” she added.
Sherina said that when it comes to girls, they are raised to think that whatever they earn they have to devote to their parents. What remains forgotten is that they need to grow as better money managers to live a sustainable life even when their parents are not in the world anymore to look after them.
Payal’s father had worked hard to provide for his family and Payal wishes to follow his steps when it comes to living her life- to be honest, and never give up. It is her father’s dream to see his daughter become an IAS officer and today, as a student of Vimukti Sanstha, she wishes nothing more than to fulfill his dream and become the backbone of her family.
“Children do that. In a bid to support their family as soon as possible, they often let their dreams die or worse, never think of becoming strong themselves. If they sacrifice themselves for their family today, they won’t have the strength to support their loved ones when it is really necessary,” Sherina advised.
We often see that children and teens are not considered mature individuals. But after Sherina chatted with Payal, she admitted that the teen taught her one valuable lesson.
“Being open-minded, ready to accept the thinking of others, seeing our faults is a quality which even adults lack mostly. But Payal was very receptive, even when I was like challenging her years-old belief system. She wanted to know more, understand it and didn’t shy away from accepting that yes, her plan to give every single penny she earns to her parents wasn’t financially sound,” Sheina said.
“That’s what I want young girls to understand. You have to first save for yourself, look after yourself, that is not being selfish, it is being smart because unless you are capable enough to support yourself, how can you even think of supporting someone else?” she said.
You can teach your little girls the value of money and the basics of money management too via our digital handbook, Little Lakshmi. Download it here.