Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A youth on a social spree

There are instances in life when we receive a random phone call from our best friend and that call changes the person within you to an extent that you might even end up visiting an NGO. I was not keen on the visit as I considered it an inconsequential proposal. Sometimes you visit a place because your friend wants you to accompany them and you eventually fall in love with that place. So did I.

I accompanied my friend because of her continuous insistence. I went inside and eased myself in the visiting room while my friend had gone for meeting the authorities. I found a brochure of the foundation and just glanced through it. My friend came back and made me accompany her to a place at Badarpur (Delhi). No option but I accompanied her. 

We entered a one bedroom DDA flat with 600 sq. feet living area. The person who opened the cranky door for us was a 35 year old man with visible signs of illness etched in his face. As we entered I found a child who looked somewhere between 4 and 6 years old. From within came a women in her late 20s with a humble face with folded hands and a graceful look in her eyes. My friend spoke to them while I was busy beaming my eyes across their small matchbox size home. One thing that my friend said consistently was that, “he is good and will be better and inshallah if he takes care well, he will see his grandchildren too”. After half an hour we left their home. At the parking lot before entering the car I asked my friend about the guy. His name was Mohammad Rahil Ahmed, used to work as an Auto driver in West Delhi region but unfortunately got victimized to HIV because of an infected needle that was injected to him when he was hospitalized for Pneumonia at XYZ hospital (name changed). His son was one year old then when he was diagnosed HIV positive. Her wife works as a maid servant. After getting discharged, he often used to fall prey to illness and had low immunity to fight the infections back. During a random free health check-up conducted by Maitri Foundation (where my friend volunteers) he was diagnosed with HIV which made them to suggest proper medical remedy. The foundation also provided them with regular counselling and for the last two years my friend has been assigned to visit the couple every three month to know the status of his health. Although I cursed my friend at the start of the day for taking me but at that very instance when she told me the story I felt proud of her and appreciated her noble cause.

We returned to the foundation. I, once again, glanced through its brochure. I could gauge the human sufferings of people from different strata of the society. With the turn of each page of the brochure of the foundation, I became aware of the activities of the foundation. Maitri was not just involved in problems related to HIV patients but also with elderly welfare, domestic violence and children education. Tears tickled down my cheeks when I read the stories covered in the brochure. I felt as if there is a void left in my life that had to be filled up with a noble activity; an activity that would earn me the blessings of the elderly people, love of children and respect of all the women I have in my life (mother, sister, girlfriend, female friends). I just knocked the door and saw my friend sitting in front of the founder. I just took the enrolment sheet and filled in my details with a humble smile on my face. A smile that made me feel good, mature and contended.

There might be a long NGO list and may be there are a lot of NGO in Delhi, but I like Maitri quite a lot. On 6thNovember the foundation plans to organize a marathon from Nehru Park for elderly people so that they do not feel left behind in the regular race of life. I am going to help them, how about you. Just have a look at their Facebook page and stay connected to smile at every moment a needy person smiles: https://www.facebook.com/maitriindia.org
Intern's twitter handle for more posts: @subramanian1190

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