By Ashu Arora:
“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein
These are words we’ve heard from many, but it rarely happens that we know someone who’s actually put this thought into action.
Gurmeet Singh from Patna has proven himself to be an epitome of the above-mentioned thought. He caught the attention of many when he won the World Sikh Award 2016 in the category ‘Sikh in Seva’ awarded by the London-based organisation, The Sikh Directory.
It was an emotional moment for me when I got to know about him. I was overwhelmed with joy and was proud to know that he has been serving patients who’ve either no family or have been abandoned by their own to live on the streets.
Singh reaffirmed my belief in humanity. Given his contributions, he has become an inspiration for many.
Singh owns a small garment shop in Patna, Bihar. He has been caring of the abandoned sick at the Patna Medical College and Hospital by providing them food and necessary medicines. Every night after he closes his shop, buys food packets and sweets from a roadside stall and heads to the hospital to distribute it among the patients. After distributing food and other items, he makes a list of expensive medicines and tries to arrange for them as soon as he can.
The condition of the ward where the abandoned patients receive treatment at the Patna hospital is no different than other government hospitals. Mr Singh doesn’t complain about prevailing conditions and heads to the hospital every day to do what he loves. His devotion and compassion remind us that the foremost duty of every human being is to serve selflessly irrespective of whether they are – rich or poor, old or young, literate or illiterate.
When asked about his trip to London in November to receive the award, Singh replied saying that he was worried as he doesn’t know who will take care of the patients when he is away.
He further added that he didn’t know how to speak English. Had I been there with him, I would have said, my dear sir, there is no language in this world in which you could be thanked enough for your contributions. You will eternally be an inspiration for me. You speak the universal language of humanity.
Apart from all the appreciation that Mr Singh deserves, he also serves as an example that shows how much we still lack in fulfilling the very basic constitutional rights of our people.
The kind of attention Mr Singh is receiving also tell us how rare acts of kindness have become. I hope that all the media attention on Singh gets NGOs and international organisations to take notice and help him provide for the abandoned patients at the state-run hospital in Patna.