Monday, October 3, 2011

The quiet "Samaritan"

Every year, during the Joy of Giving Week: Jamshedpur JoyFest, XLRI students visit Nirmal Hriday – a “home”, run by Missionaries of Charity, and which gives shelter to the destitute. They take gifts and sweets for themselves, spend time with them, talk to them, sing and dance with them… and come back with a sense of wonderment about Joy of Giving: what price, happiness?

This year, they also wanted to carry things which can be useful for the Home, and asked the sisters what would be useful for them. We have clothes donated by the city, but they did not need it (“we get enough of those”) – no blankets, etc. either. But sisters said if students can get them one month’s supply of sugar, phenyl and detergents etc. that would be helpful… if not, that too is OK, as long as they can spend some time with those abandoned not by the society – and in some cases, by their very own one’s.

So a list was made.

45kg of sugar, 60kg of detergent, 75Ltr of phenyl… it all came to Rs 12k-13k…. hmmm. Yes, we can contribute, raise it from faculty, staff and students – to some extent… perhaps…

That’s when we met this quiet Samaritan… Dheeraj, who runs the “Shyam/Choice Store” in the backyard of XLRI – a kirana shop/ “fancy store”/ mobile re-charge center… all rolled into one…

I had gone to ask him if he would put up the JGW poster in his shop – which he readily accepted to do (and even posed in front of it too, since I insisted :0)

Hoping that he will be able to give us a good price for the sugar/ detergent/ phenyl – maybe at the wholesale price rates – I showed him the list, trying to explain the “concept” of The Joy of Giving Week etc., and about the visit by our students to Nirmal Hriday…

…somewhere in between my explanations/ descriptions I was cut short by him – almost as if he was not even listening to me… and he said:
"मैं पचास किलो शक्कर का बैग दूंगा... आप बताइये कि स्टुडेंट्स कब आयेंगे"(I will donate 50kg of sugar – tell me when the students can pick it up)

And I do know that his is not a “roaring” big business… it is just a small shop in service lane in CH (circuit house) Area in Jampot...

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