The Real Hero – An Autorickshaw driver with a difference

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ajtr, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Real Hero – An Autorickshaw driver with a difference

    Mr X of Titan Industries shares his inspirational encounter with a rickshaw driver in Mumbai:
    The story goes as follows –
    Last Sunday, my wife, kid, and I had to travel to Andheri from Bandra.When I waved at a passing auto rickshaw, little did I expect that this ride would be any different...
    As we set off, my eyes fell on a few magazines (kept in an aircraft style pouch) behind the driver's back rest..

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    I looked in front and there was a small TV. The driver had put on the Doordarshan channel.

    [​IMG]

    My wife and I looked at each other with disbelief and amusement. In front of me was a small first-aid box with cotton, dettol and some medicines. This was enough for me to realize that I was in a special vehicle.
    Then I looked round again, and discovered more - there was a radio, fire extinguisher, wall clock, calendar, and pictures and symbols of all faiths - from Islam and Christianity to Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism.
    There were also pictures of the heroes of 26/11- Kamte, Salaskar, Karkare and Unnikrishnan.
    I realised that not only my vehicle, but also my driver was special.
    I started chatting with him and the initial sense of ridicule and disbelief gradually diminished.
    I gathered that he had been driving an auto rickshaw for the past 8-9 years; he had lost his job when his employer's plastic company was shut down. He had two school-going children, and he drove from 8 in the morning till 10 at night.
    No break unless he was unwell. "Sahab, ghar mein baith ke T.V dekh kar kya faida? Do paisa income karega toh future mein kaam aayega."
    We realised that we had come across a man who represents Mumbai – the spirit of work, the spirit of travel and the spirit of excelling in life.
    I asked him whether he does anything else as I figured that he did not have too much spare time.
    He said that he goes to an old age home for women in Andheri once a week or whenever he has some extra income, where he donates tooth brushes, toothpastes, soap, hair oil, and other items of daily use.
    He pointed out to a painted message below the meter that read: "25 per cent discount on metered fare for the handicapped.
    Free rides for blind passengers up to Rs.50/-.

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    My wife and I were struck with awe. The man was a HERO!
    A hero who deserves all our respect!!! Our journey came to an end; 45 minutes of a lesson in humility, selflessness, and of a hero-worshipping Mumbai, my temporary home..
    We disembarked, and all I could do was to pay him a tip that would hardly cover a free ride for a blind man.
    I hope, one day, you too have a chance to meet Mr Sandeep Bachhe in his auto rickshaw: MH-02-Z-8508
     
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  3. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Yes, a real hero.

    Good to read such stories in this time and age when no news is good news.
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Once a rising star, chef now feeds hungry

    Madurai, India (CNN) -- Narayanan Krishnan was a bright, young, award-winning chef with a five-star hotel group, short-listed for an elite job in Switzerland. But a quick family visit home before heading to Europe changed everything.
    "I saw a very old man eating his own human waste for food," Krishnan said. "It really hurt me so much. I was literally shocked for a second. After that, I started feeding that man and decided this is what I should do the rest of my lifetime."
    Krishnan was visiting a temple in the south Indian city of Madurai in 2002 when he saw the man under a bridge. Haunted by the image, Krishnan quit his job within the week and returned home for good, convinced of his new destiny.
    "That spark and that inspiration is a driving force still inside me as a flame -- to serve all the mentally ill destitutes and people who cannot take care of themselves," Krishnan said.
    Krishnan founded his nonprofit Akshaya Trust in 2003. Now 29, he has served more than 1.2 million meals -- breakfast, lunch and dinner -- to India's homeless and destitute, mostly elderly people abandoned by their families and often abused.
    Do you know a hero? Nominations are open for 2010 CNN Heroes
    "Because of the poverty India faces, so many mentally ill people have been ... left uncared [for] on the roadside of the city," he said.

    Krishnan said the name Akshaya is Sanskrit for "undecaying" or "imperishable," and was chosen "to signify [that] human compassion should never decay or perish. ... The spirit of helping others must prevail for ever." Also, in Hindu mythology, Goddess Annapoorani's "Akshaya bowl" fed the hungry endlessly, never depleting its resources.
    Krishnan's day begins at 4 a.m. He and his team cover nearly 125 miles in a donated van, routinely working in temperatures topping 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
    He seeks out the homeless under bridges and in the nooks and crannies between the city's temples. The hot meals he delivers are simple, tasty vegetarian fare he personally prepares, packs and often hand-feeds to nearly 400 clients each day.
    Krishnan carries a comb, scissors and razor and is trained in eight haircut styles that, along with a fresh shave, provide extra dignity to those he serves.
    He says many of the homeless seldom know their names or origins, and none has the capacity to beg, ask for help or offer thanks. They may be paranoid and hostile because of their conditions, but Krishnan says this only steadies his resolve to offer help.
    "The panic, suffering of the human hunger is the driving force of me and my team members of Akshaya," he said. "I get this energy from the people. The food which I cook ... the enjoyment which they get is the energy. I see the soul. I want to save my people."
    How to nominate a CNN Hero
    The group's operations cost about $327 a day, but sponsored donations only cover 22 days a month. Krishnan subsidizes the shortfall with $88 he receives in monthly rent from a home his grandfather gave him.
    Krishnan sleeps in Akshaya's modest kitchen with his few co-workers. Since investing his entire savings of $2,500 in 2002, he has taken no salary and subsists with the help of his once-unsupportive parents.
    "They had a lot of pain because they had spent a lot on my education," he said. "I asked my mother, 'Please come with me, see what I am doing.' After coming back home, my mother said, 'You feed all those people, the rest of the lifetime I am there, I will feed you.' I'm living for Akshaya. My parents are taking care of me."
    For lack of funding, the organization has been forced to halt construction on Akshaya Home, Krishnan's vision of a dormitory where he can provide shelter for the people he helps. Despite the demands and few comforts his lifestyle affords, Krishnan says he's enjoying his life.
    "Now I am feeling so comfortable and so happy," he says. "I have a passion, I enjoy my work. I want to live with my people."
    Want to get involved? Check out the Akshaya Trust Web site and see how to help.
     
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  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Real Life Hero
    From child labourer to philanthropist, it's been an eventful life for Nazrul Islam.


    By Ruben Banerjee

    In a country that still has so many in rags and so little of riches, Nazrul Islam's is an inspiring tale. It mimics the flow of a Bollywood movie and one is tempted to dismiss it as being improbable. But you only have to go to the police headquarters in Lalbazar, Calcutta, to realise that the dark, nondescript face before you does not belong to a celluloid hero.

    Nazrul's story begins in an impoverished daily-wage earner's house in Ramna Basantapur, a small village in the interiors of Murshidabad district in West Bengal. Eldest among nine siblings, Nazrul had to begin working as a farm hand very early in life to supplement the meagre earnings of his father Abdul Aziz and mother Lekzannessa. Toiling throughout the day to bring home a measly Rs 4 at the end of it was tough for a small, undernourished boy. But Nazrul had the spirit to fight against the odds, which was also manifest in the determination with which he refused to leave primary school like his brothers.

    In between working in the fields, he attended classes and sailed through school. College -- the nearest was at Baharampore, an hour's bus ride from the small town of Domkal, itself an hour's walk from Ramna Basantapur -- was tougher. And since Nazrul was still required to help keep the home fires burning, he skipped his honours degree and went back to work in the fields. He soon managed to get a clerical job at Writers' Building. With a steadier source of income, he began studying again and passed the state civil service exams. A year later, he successfully appeared for the Union Public Service Commission exams and became an ips officer.

    Today, even as his brothers continue to plough fields and sow seeds in somebody else's farmland to earn their living, Nazrul is one of the better-known ips officers of West Bengal, a deputy commissioner of police (detective department) in Calcutta. As a law enforcer, he is tough and uncompromising; he even arrested a ruling party MLA in the very first month of his service. But behind the toughness lies a humble soul. Nazrul cooks his own meals at home, not leaving the job to his orderly. He still travels second class by train and bus when he visits his birthplace, and chooses to walk from Domkal to the village as he once used to. "In a city driven by a million motivations, Nazrul remains simple and sincere, driven only by compassion and commitment," points out former Calcutta police commissioner Tushar Talukdar.

    To top it, he is one of the best known names in literary circles, author of 12 critically acclaimed books and winner of the state's highest literary award, the Ananda Purashkar, for his thoughtful writings on Hindu-Muslim relationships.

    It is no wonder then that Nazrul is a hero in his village. "Byata (son) has shown us the way. At long last, our children have a role model to emulate," gushes Noor Mohammad Mondal, a poor farmer in Ramna Basantapur. In his good fortune, Nazrul has not forgotten his roots. His "mission" now is to ensure literacy in the backward village. "I owe this to the villagers for I grew up under their loving gaze," he explains. Pooling the Rs 1 lakh he got as the cash component of the Ananda Purashkar and royalties from his other publications, Nazrul bought land and constructed a lime-and-brick structure to set up a primary school -- Ramna Basantapur's first ever. As the country celebrated its 50th year of Independence, 300 students of Nazrul's school organised a variety programme to celebrate the occasion. "For the first time in our village, the national flag was hoisted," says a proud M. Nazim, one of the two teachers in the school.

    "When I grow up, I want to become someone like Boro Abba (Nazrul uncle)," declares eight-year-old Saidul, a student in the school. To him, as to others in Ramna Basantapur, Nazrul is a hero. But Nazrul is uncomfortable with the idea of being a hero. He prefers to remain what he is -- a common man with an uncommon outlook on life.
     
  6. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    plz pass this message to mr raj + mr abu azmi .i am not trolling but at least (and hope ) they would learn some lesson and would indulge in positive politics
    salute to Mr Sandeep.
     
  7. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    one of the best thread of dfi.good job ATR plz post more of such thread rather than positing in indo-pak or indo-us and else.
     

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