- Sandeep Patil (Social Activist, Mumbai)
The Covid-19 Lockdown, had serious effects on the daily livelihoods of laborers and migrant workers. Severe problems like shortage of food and medicinal requirements, payment of rents were faced amidst this crisis. Owing to this, many of them decided to return back to their native villages. However, due to the lack of transport sources some workers/laborers actually started walking towards their hometown.
The government is trying its best. The police administration is working day and night, but no matter how much it is done, the problem is too dire. Without complaining To tackle the ‘Asura’ named Corona, Dr. Kishore Jain, Dr. Deshmukh and other Doctors along with the RSS swayamsevaks set up a free medical treatment center. Along with the medical help, eateries/biscuit packets and water bottles were distributed to each laborer. Coincidentally this Seva activity of Dr. Jain along with Swayamsevaks was initiated on the 1st of May or the ‘International Labor Day’.
When Dr. Jain and his colleagues started this Seva activity, many questions were in their heads, how will the laborers go, when will they reach, will they get food and water on the way? Many Swayamsevaks were literally moved, while tears welled up in their eyes. However, seeing ‘work as worship towards almighty’ Dr. Jain and RSS Swayamsevaks started their work like a droplet in the midst of the vast ocean named ‘Seva’. Owing to this belief, the Seva activity which started as a droplet by serving eateries and biscuit packets, has taken the form of an ever-flowing stream with commoners contributing it to form a ‘Community Kitchen’. The ever-flowing stream knew no obstacle and as a result, the community kitchen now serves around 2,000 workers with food packets or any food items on a daily basis.
Experience tells us that society comes up as a helping hand whenever such a selfless work is seen. In one such activity, the task was set to collect 2000 ‘Rotis’ from the surrounding areas for a particular day. The response of the nearby villagers from Goa, Pimpalghar and Ranjanoli was too overwhelming and around 5000 ‘Rotis’ were collected. In fact, one person made five hundred ‘Rotis’ from his house, even on receiving a mistaken phone call from the Swayaymsevak. On that particular day, up to 1500 people were served with food packets.
To date, the Doctors and Swayamsevaks along with the nearby commoners could serve over 10,000 workers.
It is worth mentioning here that, the workers of the nearby hotels who were about to leave for their respective villages, seeing the vast selfless work came to the aid of Doctors and coordinated them with whatever they could. The workers helped Swayamsevaks with full vigor despite their circumstances. In one such event, a laborer with tears in his eyes took out a note of five hundred rupees and said, ‘ I’m a laborer and was traveling back to my village in a truck. Seeing all of you doing this, I wanted to help you a little with the best of my ability.’ The Doctors respectfully returned back his money. However, the laborer full of tears and with the desire of selfless Seva insisted them to take the amount. A laborer in the midst of his own problems comes forward to help with the best of his ability. The Doctors and Swayamsevaks were overwhelmed with the charity of a poor laborer and hence decided to take a 200 Rupee note as a token of help. The 200 Rupee note incident and the rich charities of such poor yet selfless individuals instills the faith ’that India will surely win over this crisis.
The events and the story in the above article were narrated by Dr. Prashant Pingle, Mumbai.