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Selfless Volunteerism: Act of Kindness by Common People

Posted on November 3, 2010 in Society, Volunteerism

By Faiyaz Hawawala:

“Whether it is a small or a big act of kindness, it is not to be showcased.”

This is a very simple sentence but has a deep meaning if you try to understand it. Since the past few days I have been meeting and hearing about some people who actually believe in the above sentence. According to me they are real-life heroes and I think that their acts of kindness, which are not only beneficial to society and mankind but also to the environment and ecosystem, should be shared.

Let’s talk about two people on whom my friends once made a short documentary film. There are two friends named as Bharat and Hassan together known as “Miya Mahadev” in the old walled city of Ahmedabad. They are called so because of acts of kindness they do and the bond of friendship prevailing between them for the last 25 years. They have seen many riots with their own eyes and Bharat bhai helped Hassan bhai by saving his lorry, which was his only source of income, from a mob.

For 25 years there have been several small and big acts of kindness by “Miya Mahadev” such as providing drinking water to people during summer, helping people to sought addresses personally and on calls with their deep knowledge of routes by making available their mobile numbers on sign boards saying “Miya Mahadev Inquiry Center” for absolutely no cost. and a lot more. Their friendship is respected by all the traders in the market and by their own family. Moreover, they respect each other and their religions a lot. Apart from that, Bharat bhai has taken the responsibility of opening the shrine opposite his tailor shop every morning and starting off with a prayer in it daily. Though belonging to a lower financial class, by doing small and big acts of kindness they set an example in our society. I thank my friends Aayush Patel, Mit Jani, Prateek Gupta and their team for showcasing the kindness of “Miya Mahadev” so that it makes a positive impact of communal harmony amongst the young generation of India.

Today I met a thoughtful and respectable nature lover, wildlife enthusiast, a birdwatcher, an artist, a sculptor, and a photographer, Mr Tejas Soni. While talking to him I realised the importance and greatness of things he has done in his life to help the birds, other animals and creatures to balance the ecosystem. In his thoughts I found courage to fight with the wrong. He has helped promote a bird sanctuary named “Thol lake” which is 30 kms away from Ahmedabad by finding new species of birds and making efforts to stop littering in the area.

This ensures that dogs and crows don’t hog the area or further disturb approximately 250 species of birds which are found at Thol. He has always helped people who are interested in birds and bird-watching by providing necessary information. His aim is to educate and spread awareness amongst more and more youngsters and children about nature so that they start respecting it, in his words, “When people will start respecting nature, they will automatically stop harming the environment and the ecosystem will be balanced”.

After meeting him I met another enthusiast but one of a different kind, a snake enthusiast, Mr Aavishkar Joshi. 10-15 years ago, he used to work in a water resort near Ahmedabad where people used to kill snakes whenever they encountered one. After much thought, he decided to catch them and free them into the forest rather than killing them. After getting in touch with some experts he started getting more knowledge about snakes and became an expert on the species, while the snakes became his love.

Since then he has rescued approximately 2000 snakes and saved their lives and also the lives of people who had encountered them. He reminisced some of the incidents of snake rescue and tears rolled down my eyes. People used to thank him as though he was a God; the happiness he used to see on rescued people’s face was the best feeling in the world. And on top of it, he and his team, whom he trained, did not charge a single penny from the rescued. They believed that it was their duty to “rescue the snake as it had entered the human habitat by mistake“.

For me these kinds of people are my real life heroes rather than SRK or Angelina Jolie. What about you?

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