Nepal earthquake: India boy breaks piggy bank to donate

Akash Mukherjee
Image caption Akash Mukherjee says he was moved by the plight of the victims of the tragedy

A 12-year-old boy from India has broken his piggy bank to donate to the victims of Nepal's devastating earthquake.

Akash Mukherjee of Kolkata (Calcutta) had saved more than 3,500 rupees ($54; £36) for buying a gift for his parents and getting a new football for himself.

He says he changed his plans after watching the plight of the quake survivors on TV.

More than 7,000 people died in the magnitude 7.8 earthquake. More than 14,021 people were injured.

"When I watched the pictures on TV of children of my age starving and staying out in the open, it really hurt me," Akash said.

"I had some savings in a clay piggy bank that I had collected over two years. So I decided to give the money to them."

His parents visited the Nepalese consulate in the city, where Akash handed over his piggy bank to the officials.

'Great gesture'

"The consul came out and hugged by son. He said how much money my son was donating was not important. But that a boy of his age could even think of this was really great," his father Gora Mukherjee, who works with a multinational company, said.

It took almost an hour for the consulate officials to count the money after breaking the piggy bank because the coins were of really small denominations, he said.

Image copyright Nbbc
Image caption Akash had collected more than 3,500 rupees
Image caption He has now been gifted a new clay piggy bank

"The consulate requested us to deposit the money in a bank. It was almost closing time when we reached the bank. But when the officer heard the purpose, he was more than eager to cooperate," Mr Mukherjee said.

This isn't the first time Akash has donated for a cause.

He has acted in a film and handed over his earnings to Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity.

"He has been donating since his fifth birthday. We have tried to instil a habit of giving to the needy since his childhood," his mother Manisha Mukherjee said.

Now that his savings are gone, how would Akash buy a gift for his parents or buy himself a football?

"That can wait. It may take some point to fill up a new piggy bank."

Somebody has already gifted him a new clay piggy bank - and Akash has begun saving again.

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