Leaving her father’s place, Madhuri Agarwal moved to her new home two years back after marriage. But she couldn’t disconnect herself from Noida. It pulled her back every time she tried to move on. Needless to say, a place where one spends one’s childhood and most part of the youth always remains etched in one’s heart. For architect Madhuri, a professor at Galgotia University, that’s what Noida’s Jalvayu Vihar, Sector 25 stood for.
So, one day, she decided to do something — she painted a wall red, and roped in all the residents of the sector to start a Neki Ki Deewar.
“Every time we step into winters or summers, we revisit our cupboards — discarding old clothes, adding new ones. I was doing the same at my place while talking with a friend of mine, Amritanshu Vaish, who runs a Lucknow-based NGO, Indian Youth Forum. It was then that he suggested starting a Neki Ki Deewar based on the Rehmat Ki Deewar started in Iran by an anonymous donor. Charity begins at home, and that’s exactly what I did,” explains the professor.
Being a teacher, it wasn’t difficult for Madhuri to convince her parents and her neighbours, the RWA Jalvayu Vihar and, of course, the students. Funds started to pour in instantly. She says, “I spoke to the RWA president, as his consent was important. He also allowed us to paint the wall. The JVCC Laughter Club gave me the initial financial support of Rs 5,000, which set the ball rolling. I immediately purchased paints, plants and other things to make the wall stand out.”
Soon, the Wall of Kindness in Sector 25, near Gate No 1, transformed from being just a boundary to something more — it came to signify the values of humanity, kindness and charity. Madhuri explains, “Now people know the purpose for this wall — it’s no longer just a boundary. It reminds people that, apart from life’s daily chores, we must think of others. Even a small step can go a long way.”
After the initial success, Madhuri now intends to paint 100 more walls across the NCR.
Recounting individual contributions, she says, “Himani Karan Dogra, a teacher, contributed Rs 1,000 for our drive at a time when demonetisation had every household in its grip. Rishabh and Kamran Hamesh, third-year architecture students at Galgotia University, helped me paint the wall — add some art to it. The first contribution, in fact, came from Aparna in the form of hangers.”
On November 15, Jalvayu Vihar’s Neki Ki Dewar stood ready, with several packets of donated clothes.
“This wall is for those who are needy, but not ready to beg. And, you can donate anything — books, stationery items, utensils, bed sheets, jars,” says Madhuri.
Many more such walls, similarly named, have come across the NCR after the Jalvayu Vihar initiative.