‘Service above self’ in the truest sense of the word

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Jul 2018 09:37:46






THOSE youngsters are an especially happy lot. All of them are in various levels of their schools and college courses. They go to different schools and colleges, as well. Yet, at least twice a week, they meet with a missionary commitment, and plan their ‘work’ of lending help to the needy children coming from poor background. They collect funds through various means. They collect old books, too, from people. They then visit areas where they meet children from poor families and distribute their ‘collection’ so that the kids can go to school, wear decent clothes, read books and mend their otherwise directionless lives. 


No, no. These youngsters have formed no NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) in a formal manner. Fired by high ideals, these youngsters come together for good work that would uplift the needy and that would lift their self-belief. Meeting these young people, therefore, is a special experience. They, fourteen in all, boys and girls, do not want any publicity. But their inspired work can act as an inspiration for others. Right when they were in schools, they started talking of doing something that others did not do. From that urge came the idea of helping the needy children. They took a good look at the issues, and evolved a method to identify needy kids and then lend them help.

What started as a pastime soon became an obsession and now a mission of sorts. Without any formal frame, without any structural positions such as President, Secretary, Treasurer, Members in a committee set up, these youngsters just come together and do inspired social work. The joy on their young faces, the glint in their eyes, the charm about their young personalities -- everything is mesmerising.

This charm is their signature, their shield, their shovel, their magnetic value. People are charmed with their enthusiasm, their method of work, their transparent honesty. And then they give these young people whatever help they can. The youngsters just accept whatever is given to them, and walk away. This absence of any insistence also makes them everybody’s darlings.

The kids have a simple philosophy: Whatever they have, they give it away to the needy children. In most cases, their help has generated very positive outcomes. The beneficiary children go to school regularly, wear decent clothes, and are known to have become secondary agents of transformation, the primary ones being these initial do-gooders. In its initial efforts, the group could collect barely five-six hundred rupees and just a few books. Nobody minded such a poor collection. They would take that to the slums etc and give the booty away to the kids. They might have made a few wrong judgements and incorrect choices but eventually, they learned how to read a needy child’s real condition.

In the last 3-4 years, the young group has evolved into a finer team. Not only have they grown in years, but also in experience. And, as each one of them insists, “The effort has brought boundless joy and satisfaction to all”. For, as they lend help, they love to read the sense of gratitude in the eyes of the beneficiaries.

Yet, these youngsters -- the oldest among them barely 19 years of age -- do not want to call themselves benefactors. “We do nothing much. We get things from others, and give those away to the kids that need help”, they say in the simplest possible terms.This is certainly service above self!