Can you spare a billion, sister?
Can you spare a billion for Pakistani kids, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, who need to be rescued? Just hold this thought?
Meanwhile, what has fifty got to do with it? Plenty. Apart from blowing out 50 candles on her birthday cake recently, the first author to become a billionaire can put down her pen and instead give herself a pat on the back for rescuing hundreds of children locked behind bars, cut asunder from families. ‘Lumos,’ her charity, has turned 10. J.K. Rowling is the same woman who as a single-mom, lived in a cold, cramped flat in London’s welfare housing with an infant to care. With no heating or money to buy diapers for baby Jessica, the mother took refuge in public toilets to warm themselves and use the diapers that lay around.
In 1990, while travelling on a train from Manchester to London, Harry Potter came alive on paper, that too on toilet paper! “Harry Potter just sort of strolled into my head. He arrived very fully formed. It was as though I was meeting him for the first time,” Rowling is oft quoted while describing the origin of her billion-dollar story plot. “I really don’t know where the idea came from. It started with Harry, then all these characters and situations came flooding into my head.” With no paper or pen to swiftly scribble the storyline as her fertile imagination began streaming, on hindsight it proved a blessing in disguise. “Perhaps, if I had slowed down the ideas to capture them on paper, I might have stifled some of them”, she says when describing the magic moment of her inspiration for her Harry Potter series. Once the story was fully formed in her mind, Rowling quickly dashed to the nearest loo to grab toilet paper and borrowing a pen from somewhere, she plotted not one book but its seven sequels during the four-hour journey.
After earning billions off children, Rowling decides it is ‘pay-back’ time
Serendipity, would you not say?
Rowling’s fertile imagination once again came into play when in 2005, she perchance happened to see visuals of children in caged beds. Locked up in institutions in the Czech Republic, Rowling knew she had to do move to set them free. So, she set up a charity called ‘Lumos.’ Today, it works on projects in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Moldova and Montenegro “to end the systematic institutionalisation of children” who are sexually abused, orphans, severely malnourished, mentally or physically handicapped. Rowling hopes to expand her work to more countries in coming years, “across Europe, and to see children placed into safe, caring environment.” Her vision is a world where all children are raised in a safe and caring environment; where none are placed in large, uncaring institutions.
Why focus on children? Because Rowling earned her billions thorough casting a magic spell on children (adults too!) through her Harry Potter series. Now it was time for her to give back. To children, of course! To those children who were denied normal happy lives under one roof with their loving families, just like the orphan Harry Potter. The Potter storyline is about good versus evil. Hollywood turned the series into eight blockbuster movies, earning billions of dollars.
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