A few reckoning forces in the society are determined to make a difference; they want to make the world a better place. And one such beaming personality in our society is 71-year-old Chitralekha Mallik. The retired college teacher and former reader in Sanskrit has so far donated over Rs. 97 lakhs for the cause of education and charity, and it’s still counting.
Chitralekha Mallik made her first donation in 2003 and since then, there’s no turning back for this wonder woman. In her first, she donated Rs 50,000 to the Rajabazar College in Kolkata to set up a medical unit and then went on to donate 31 lakhs, in the name of her parents, to the Indian Research Institute for Integrated Medicine, Kolkata. Chitralekha Mallik’s next big donation of Rs. 10 lakh was made to Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission Secashrama in Vrindavan. And, in 2018, she made the biggest philanthropic contribution of her life by donating a whopping 56 lakhs, in the name of her teacher and his wife, to Jadavpur University in Kolkata, also the very college from where she had completed her PhD.
A resident of Kolkata, Chitralekha Mallik said, “Why would I need more money? I lead a very simple life and the pension that I draw is enough for my sustenance”. When asked about the inspirations behind her deeds, Chitralekha Mallik said, “There are two ways through which you can be content. One is by spending on yourself. The other is by distributing among the needy what you have. I think the latter that has been my guiding principle”.
Chitralekha Mallik’s journey, however, hasn’t been all colourful; an accident left her left leg shorter than her right one, forcing her to walk with a limp. But nothing could dampen the Good Samaritan’s spirit as she continued imparting knowledge to thousands of students. Her stint in teaching began in 1974 as she taught students in three colleges of West Bengal- Mathabhanga College, Deshabandhu Girls’ College and Victoria Institution, before finally retiring in 2008.