THE SEED OF CHARITY
Many years ago, I was teaching a group (five) of T.Y. B.Com students. It was a late-night batch (9:30 to 10:30) and it was held at the bungalow belonging to one of the students. Akhil* was one of the five. He turned up to class, every night, straight from the workshop where he worked during the day; often, with his greasy hands. It was he who would drop me home on his motor bike after the class, every night… We remained good friends, ever since.
I always knew that Akhil would come up in life as a self-made successful young-man. He did. My admiration for Akhil rose a few notches higher, when, one day, he came up to me and said, “Sir, I wish to help a couple of needy students by meeting their education cost. I also wish to sponsor a couple of deserving students, every year, for P.D. Programme of THE DAWN CLUB.” He added, “On the condition that they should not know about me!”
It is more than twenty years now. Akhil has been, religiously, helping. Every year, a couple of deserving students in their studies and for some, in Personality Development, to build up their self-confidence and communication skills.
What Akhil had been giving with his right hand, his left hand has not come to know about!
To me, that’s the essence of true charity… You don’ have to be a rich and famous man to start helping others. You can do it right from where you stand, with whatever you possess!
My experience has been this: You don’t help others because you ‘have more’… You help others because you find tremendous amount of fulfillment in doing it… You feel confident and happy… You feel blessed.
I am a teacher. Teaching has come to me as God’s special gift. So, through the medium of my own profession, can’t I reach out to many needy young boys and girls? Similarly, a doctor, an advocate, a psychologist, an architect, an interior designer, a chef, a HR consultant, a politician, a school trustee, a business or professional man, even a student – yes, whoever you are, don’t you think, you can reach out to some people with your special God-given gifts. I know of many young boys, who volunteer to write exams for students who are physically and mentally challenged… Many young boys and girls volunteer in their community and social organizations. If that comes from a clean space, to me, that ‘is’ true charity… For, one does it not to show off… but, to feel happy and fulfilled…
I call it ‘giving back’. I also call it ‘Contribution’. Trust me, it is through giving, that we receive more… become more confident, happy and empowered in life. Yes, we do. And, I must remind you about a myth: You don’t have to be the best student, the best teacher, the best doctor or the best somebody to reach out to those who are needy. All that you need is your ‘best intention’.
That’s the seed of charity!
The Bangalore-based, Dr. B. Ramana Rao’s story has inspired me always. He, along with his wife and two sons (both doctors) give one day of the week for the poor. The rest of the days, they do their professional routine and earn like we all do. But, one day of the week – the Sunday – they reach out to the needy through the special gift God has showered upon them. To keep doing this for more than four decades – treat almost one thousand poor patients on one day, giving them free medicine for a week and serve a meal on Sunday noon – yes, it certainly needs one’s best intention. I wish to share a couple of videos, with the hope that they may inspire you…
(The second video needs translation from Kannada.... Couldn't resist from sharing!!!)
Don’t wait to reach out to the needy… Start from wherever you stand, and with whatever you possess.
* Name changed
Pic.: Kamal Kishore Rikhari