Father-daughter bond strengthened through COVID-19 fundraising

Published 2021-06-18 07:59

This Father’s Day, Yashita Ghore is grateful for time spent with dad during pandemic


Yashita Ghore, 11, and her dad, Yogesh, aren't just father and daughter; they’re friends.

The pair who live in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, enjoy spending time together.

Yashita told CBC Kids News her dad is funny, especially for a dad.

“He doesn't have bad dad jokes,” she said.

On Father's Day, which is on Sunday, June 20, Yashita plans to surprise her dad with a handmade gift, like she does most years.

She also plans to call her uncles in India, another tradition.

Yashita, along with her mother and father, moved from India to Canada when she was three months old.

This year has been especially difficult because two of Yashita's uncles are doctors in India, where they have been treating hundreds of patients sick with COVID-19.

Yashita, left, her parents and her younger sister, Dhara. (Image submitted by Yogesh Ghore)

Inspired to fundraise

Yashita said her dad inspired her to start an online fundraiser in May to send supplies to small hospitals in India that were dealing with COVID-19.

She and her friends raised almost $2,900 in just over a week.

Yashita said it started when her father shared stories of her uncles and the difficulties they were experiencing.

Such as how one of her uncles, a pediatrician, treated a three-month-old with COVID-19.

“The parents were so sad. But my uncle, he saved [the baby's] life,” she said.

Yashita's dad works at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, and part of his job during the pandemic has been to help raise money for COVID-19 relief in India.

Inspired, Yashita decided she also wanted to pitch in.

“He was doing a lot of hard work, like hours and hours of work, and I wanted to help, too.”

With her dad directing the action behind the camera, Yashita and some friends filmed  a YouTube video.

(Video credit: Yogesh Ghore)

Even though her dad's fundraising efforts are serious, he manages to stay upbeat, Yashita said.

“It makes it easier, and it takes a bunch of weight off your shoulders,” she said of her father's fun attitude.

The struggles of virtual school

While the pair love working together, Yashita and Yogesh aren't always on the same page.

Especially, when it comes to math homework.

“Your brain goes quack, quack,” is how Yashita describes those moments when she doesn't understand her dad's explanations.

Yogesh said that part of the misunderstanding comes from how different his formal and strict education in India was from Yashita's current schooling in Canada.

But they both laughed about the time they accidentally did an entire week's worth of homework in one night when they were first learning the ropes of virtual school.

Spending quality time with dad

While doing schooling at home on and off throughout the pandemic has been challenging, Yashita said she appreciated getting to spend more time with her dad than usual.

His work sometimes means he's away from home for weeks and months.

Yashita said she's starting to think about post-pandemic life when her dad will get back to travelling.

“I know how it's going to be. He's not going to be here,” Yashita said. “I'm going to miss him a lot.”

Yashita in her highland dancing uniform standing beside her dad.

Yashita and her dad at a highland dancing competition before the pandemic. (Image submitted by Yogesh Ghore)

But she said she's also looking forward to restarting some of the activities that were cancelled because of COVID-19, such as highland dancing.

Yashita said her father drives her to competitions all over Atlantic Canada, celebrates her wins and motivates her when she gets discouraged.

‘He is just everything’

According to Yashita, the best advice her dad gives her is “just to never give up and work hard.”

Yashita said her relationship with her father is a lot like the one in her favourite movie, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, which is based on the true story of one of India's first female air force pilots, Gunjan Saxena.

In the film, Saxena's dad is very supportive of his daughter's dreams, even though it was expected that only boys would pursue that kind of job.

Yashita’s current goal is to one day become an astronaut — a dream her father supports by encouraging her to learn about space.

When asked how she would describe what makes her dad such a good dad, Yashita said: “He is just everything.”

With files from Emma Smith/CBC
TOP IMAGE CREDIT: (Image submitted by Yogesh Ghore)

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