Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Blessings and Tears coming our way

We wanted to help the needy
I remember my group of friends, boys and girls, with lots of inclination to do something worthwhile. We used to call our group "Surabhi Yuva Manch". After much discussion we were in a fix for what charity act we should do for the needy. Starting from who is needy in our opinion, to do we really need to do any charity?, we finished most of the theoretical topics that we could discuss. Still there was no answer in any one's mind. We all were eager to do something. We used to say to eat, drink and sleep, oh pigs also do that let us do something worthwhile.

Bingo there was a Idea.
Suddenly one of our friends came up with a idea. That was December with cold nights, so cold that everybody has started using woolen bed sheets. The idea was to collect old and not in use bed sheets from our houses. We decided to distribute these bed sheets we collect to the needy beggars who show up near temples in Nagpur.

We started Bed Sheet collection drive.
This is simple synergy. Some one out of curiosity told the idea to one of his neighbor and he got four bed sheets from him. Wow, that was great. We stated telling our acquaintances about our idea and in one week we gathered around 150 bed sheets. That was a great achievement and we were feeling as if we have conquered a fort. Industry is a boon allotted to we humans by which we can practice synergy.

How to decide who is really needy?
This was a question asked by one of our friends. This question shifted all of us in introspection mode. We started rethinking on our definitions about needy and poor. Again synergy came to rescue. Collectively the thing decided was such a idea we couldn't have thought individually. We decided to come out at 12.00 am midnight on the streets of Nagpur. That time presumable people are sleeping or trying to sleep. That was the only way we can find people without bed sheets sleeping on footpaths, below the bridges, etc. That was an exciting idea. Then was the time to tell our parents about our ambitious venture, and to our dismay we readily got permission even from parents of three girls in our group.

Unbelievable experiences we gathered
We started on by-cycles loaded carriers with bed sheets. It was just like a fleet of "kalandar people" heading towards their final goal. What we saw was too painful to describe. I saw one around 6 years young boy sleeping naked on the footpath. That time it was I to cover him with a bed sheet and he grabbed the sheet in his sleep so tightly as if it was a part of his skin. Tears got into my eyes all of a sudden. It was a shaking moment, I remembered my small brothers sleeping in cozy environment at our home.

Blessings and Tears coming our way
We got blessings from a very old woman shivering in cold. We got tears from a mother who was trying to supply warmth to her three children in vein. She could not help but cry when we offered her bed sheets. In only half an hour all our bed sheets were gone. We had covered only the lohapool area of Nagpur near the Tekadi mandir. The fact that Nagpur is much more big made us nervous and we felt helpless that day to the depth of our hearts. We got satisfaction that we helped many people that day but it was nothing in front of the idea of vast population of Nagpur City and what we have done is only for a small fraction of the needy people.

All of us were quiet while coming home
No body of us was ready to utter a single word. We all got on our by-cycles and got back to our houses. The feeling was so deep and acute that it was simply impossible for any of us to speak up. All that we were knowing is that if any body dared to speak even a single word all will start crying loudly.

Well nothing more to write now. Even the remembrance of that event has raised my hairs and I am suddenly out of words.


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