Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee was on Friday overwhelmed when an 11-year-old girl clasped her hands and broke down when she arranged for her free education up to 12th standard in a reputed city school as part of her party's efforts to provide help to the families of the tsunami dead.
Touching scenes were witnessed when the girl, Qurtas Sumbal, who lost her father, Badre Alam, when the killer waves struck the Maldives, repeatedly embraced Banerjee expressing her helplessness on being orphaned.
Banerjee also handed over a cheque for Rs. 50,000 and another Rs. 50,000 in cash to a member of Alam's family living in a slum on Broad street in South Kolkata, not very far from the residence of the Chief Minister, Buddhadev Bhattacharjee.
Banerjee underscored the need for everyone to come to the help of thousands of children rendered orphans in the tsunami disaster.
The principal of St Thomas' School, Sushmita Bhattacherjee, said she was moved by Mamata's gesture and assured that the school would take the responsibility for providing free education to the girl up to the 12th standard.
Banerjee said she had been assured by the school authorities that the girl would be provided free board and lodging at the school hostel.
The girl was studying in the seventh standard in a slum school in Kolkata when the tsunami claimed the life of her father in the Maldives.