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20th March 2017
Dear well-wishers of Shila,

This post has been a long time coming. A lot of that time was spent convincing Shila about the necessity and harmlessness of a cataract surgery. At first I was confused, and somewhat angry, that why after approaching me for help in financing her cataract did she back out of it. But speaking with her over the past year has helped me see things from her perspective.

She was in pain and in no way financially equipped for the medical expenses that lay before her. But she was also terribly afraid of going under the knife at this advanced age. She told of a neighbour of hers who never made it out of surgery. Though I don't know how old this neighbour was or what she was getting surgery for, this was enough of a cautionary tale for fear to have won over the pain.

That is not to say our fundraising was in vain. Shila trudges to work everyday, but someday soon she will not be able to. Her cataract might burst. Any number of medical emergencies that are typical at this age might take hold. Her food and medicine costs will be an obstacle for the family when she is no longer earning. She still has a few debts left to pay from when she had borrowed to treat her son.

I've delayed handing over money to her family because, after my interactions with them, I wasn't sure it would be used for Shila. After some deliberation I've decided to hand over a large chunk to her grandson with the caveat that the amount be used for her whatever she needs- clothes, food, medicines, debt clearance, etc. But he should maintain a rough accounting of the funds.

I'll pay the money to Shila's family in two or three installments-depending on Shila's needs and our verification of said accounting. The exception to this is a medical emergency or hospitalization in which case her grandson will be given as much cash as the situation demands.The total amount that I received from the fundraiser, after deduction of Milaap's fees, were 1,52,524. I also received Rs. 10,000 in offline donations. For the first installment I have deposited 62,500 INR in Shila's account. Please see the attached snapshots. I will continue to be involved with her family for updates on her work and health and will report that here.

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