I was flabbergasted. All my attempts to raise money to build the school had come to zilch. We required close to 2 lacs to build the school. All we'd managed to raise so far was a measly Rs 32,748/-.
Raj came to my office one day. We were best buddies in school. But life took us along different paths. I took to social service. Started working in NGO's and finally I set up one on my own. Raj went in to business. He was doing well. He'd already made a sizable donation to my fund and I felt guilty asking him for any more money.
I opened out to him and told him of my problems. I went on and on ranting. I told him I couldn't believe people were not willing to donate for a noble cause like this one.
"What is society coming to?"- I asked him.
He smiled and said- "Let me take care of fund raising for you".
It took me a while to realize he was serious. It wasn't like him to offer such services.
"How do you plan on doing it?"- I asked him.
"Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies"- he replied. " Give me ten grand from whatever you've collected and 3 months time. You'll have your money".
I pondered on this a bit but finally gave in. I trusted Raj. I was very curious though as to how he was going to raise this money when all my volunteers' efforts of the past 6 months couldn't bring in any money.
One and a half months later Raj was in my office with a cheque for Rs 2,17,571/-. I was astounded.
"And there is still more coming"- he grinned.
"How did you pull it off?"
"Come I'll show you."
We took the car to a village just outside the city. Situated a little away from the main village square was a thatched hut. Inside there was a Swami sitting inside with a few disciples.
"This is it"- a gleaming Raj said.
"The Swami gave the money to you?"
"No, I set up the whole thing. I pay the Swami and his disciples to sit here. "
Furious hearing this I began to remonstrate before Raj calmed me down and explained how the idea came to him.
"I was at a temple and was looking at these beggars sitting just outside. The temple undal was just a few feet away from the beggars. I noticed people putting 50 bucks, 100 bucks, even 500 in to the undal. However, they'd drop just 1 or 2 bucks for the beggars. That's when the idea came to me. I called the beggars. Explained things to them and told them I'd set things up and they just had to act their parts."
"So I came here and found this obscure place for them. Then I went and told my wife that I wanted to meet this Swami and donate some money as his blessings had helped me. We came here and I put a big sum of money in the undal in front of her. Leave it women to spread the news like wildfire... All her friends and their friends started streaming in to this place believing my story to be true. One month down the line and we have your money."- Raj said smiling.
"You are a true businessman"- I told Raj appreciatively.
"It's really simple"- he said. "You were trying to appeal to people's charity. That never works. I was simply appealing to their greed!"