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68. A Poor Woman's Gift

The women's response to Gandhiji's appeals for work and money always filled him with hope and joy. To him it was the sincerity behind the action that counted. At a women's meeting at Tuni, an old manifestly poor woman, nearly 75 years old, bent double with the weight of her years, but with a benign face and carrying sparkling eyes, put into his hands four annas without any apology traceable in those never-to-be-forgotten eyes. Immediately after, a Khadi-clad middle-aged woman put into his hands five rupees and a copper. Gandhiji straightaway asked her : "Whose donation is greater, yours, or this old sister's?"

Out came the bold decisive reply : "Both are equal."

"I was unprepared for this most intelligent and penetrating reply. I was pleased beyond measure, and was glad to be nonplussed," said 'Gandhiji referring to this incident.