Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Just another day

I’ve been talking to family and friends about how I’m surrounded by these incredible people and incredible work, but these words are meaningless without stories to illustrate my point.

Two days ago, I spent the day in Ahmedabad. The day began with an hour meditation sit with Nirali, Rahul and Jayeshmama. It was my first long group sit since Vipassana After breakfast, the four of us headed out to Jagatbhai’s pood (not exactly sure what the English translation would be). It’s residential area in the old city that is unlike newer developments of societies, etc. In a pood, the house are more interconnected and the layout of the area is more conducive to a community environment. Visiting the pood reminded me of pij and nar and the time that me and Sejal spent living in Nar as a little girl. It was very cool to see aspects of village life/older developments within the city.

After the pood visit, we headed over to Manav Sadhna for prathna and to pick up Kunal to take him to the hospital. Kunal was found many months ago lying on the footpath outside of MS. When walking by, Parulben saw him and began talking to him. Over the course of the conversation, she learned that lower portion of his spinal cord was in pieces, which meant that he couldn’t walk. Together with others from MS, Kunal was taken to Civil Hospital and MS volunteers/staff set up a schedule to visit and look after Kunal while he got medical attention. For the next couple of months, many helped out and Kunal learned how to walk with the assistance of a crutch and stick. The volunteers located Kunal’s family and when he was well made arrangements for him to go home. A month (a few days ago), Kunal showed up at MS again. Circumstances at home were less than ideal and he was ill. Rahul came to hear of Kunal’s story and thought it would be best to admit him to Mother Theresa’s hospital in Ahmedabad (which has an incredible story of its own). So after meeting with Kunal, we took him to the hospital. Once all the formalities were complete and reassuring Kunal that we would help him develop skills to earn an income, etc after he was better, we turned to leave, Kunal hands us a large bag. When we looked inside we found that it was full of tobacco packets. Kunal used to sell them on the streets to earn money, but he was giving up that lifestyle. We all just looked at each other not knowing what to say.

Later in the day, Jayeshmama was at Manav Sadhna, when the mother of one of the volunteers came to meet him. Her son, a NRI, had volunteered at MS/Seva Café for a week, 25 hours to be exact. He had been forced to come to MS. One week later, his mom was so touched that she was shedding tears of joy. In 25 hours, her son had been transformed. As a token of her gratitude and appreciation, she gave MS Rs. 10,000. It can take a lifetime to change people, while this volunteer changed in 25 hours of service. Incredible, yet not surprising when you meet and see the people and work of the MS family.

Within a short period of time of this incident, a school teacher comes to meet with Jayeshmama. He and his students had heard of the work that MS did during natural disasters, etc and decided to help out. So the students collected grains and money. By gathering 5 rupees, 10 rupees here and there, they made a collection of 10,000 rupees! And handful by handful, they gathered 6-7 large bags of grain. The teacher had come to meet Jayeshmama to give him the money and grain to pass on to the appropriate people =)

This all in a day’s work. Pretty awesome, huh.

No comments: