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Ankit Raj

Just the other believer of Mahatma Gandhi

Bihar, India

Sanitizing Humanity

Jul 31, 2020 4 months ago

Bihar a land where Gandhi started Champaran Satyagraha in support of indigo farmers, has history of producing roaring politician Jaiprakash Narayan who lead the mid 1970s opposition against prime minister Indira Gandhi, also called JP movement, is now bound with caste politics and where health ministers ask what's the death score in infant mortality. Our politicians, the bureaucrats and we as the society had only been pretence towards the cruelty our countrymen goes through. It is heart wrenching to see how our government's policies had been collapsing and have not reached out to those in need, these policies being made for. One sunny day I was heading towards the grocery store to get some food items although it's completely locked down in my state, some essential facilities are open for people. when standing in the line for social distancing, I saw a middle aged man wearing a mask stepping outside a ramshackle house in a weird way. I found it suspicious to believe someone would ever walk out of their house like this. Few minutes passed by, and I saw two women rushing out, that same house shouting and screaming. They were robbed while taking their midday sleep. The occurrence gave me flashbacks when my laptop and mobile phone got stolen from my room. That incident was more strange than shocking to me, that robbery made me think how courageous that man was to rob her house in the time when everybody is in their house because of lockdown, or he was more hungry to pilfer things because he needs it. It was raining the other day, so I went to the balcony to see outside. While glancing over my locality I saw a man sitting in a rickshaw shivering, I was first not sure whether or not to step out of my house but that feeble man's situation made me take steps towards him. I took a bowl full of rice and dal along with me. While going near him I realised that he is the same man who robbed that house midday, that frightened me but with doubt in my head and fear in my heart I anyhow reached him and offered him the bowl. He hesitated at first then accepted it, after he finished his bowl I tried to establish some talk and we talked about various things going around because of coronavirus and lockdown, I couldn't resist myself but asked him about that day of robbery. Firstly he equivocated but then confessed and started crying. He said his name is Radhe and he was just a regular rickshaw driver in around our area but because of lockdown he lost his job and his supply to food and shelter is not certain, he has no money and have no job so left with only option to rob, rob to feed both him and his childrens. We both had tears in our eyes after listening to his problems. Weeks passed by, but I was not able to take that incident out of my head every time I had my meal. I could not help but to think about him and so many more exactly like him, even worse. I could not have just relaxed inside my house and watched people like him suffer, after all their well-being is our responsibility. So I talked to my parents about those things happening and decided to help them in any way possible, either by providing them with food or giving them blankets and temporary shelter in our garage, we did it with complete passion. But I couldn't find Radhe, as he was already weak I feared if he died. Then one day I saw him sitting around the corner in his rickshaw smoking weed, I went to him to ask if he ate anything. He ate almost nothing since three days and has been starving from hunger, so I invited him to my place and gave him food and then we started talking about what he is going to do next and what his future plan about his childrens. He had no positive answer but worry in his eyes. So I proffered his meal along with his childers at my place until he gets his job back. I could sense the relief in his eyes, for him that was everything but for me it was just a help who needs it, so now he can focus on his family and arrange some source of income. We know this pandemic has made our economy crawl on knees but let's not forget these unnamed people around us keeping our city clean or roadside vendors or even daily wage labour, let's be more human toward them and let us restore their believe in humanity because as Mahatma Gandhi said "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others"

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