148th recipient of #BicycleAngels – There are 2 ways to live your life. One, as though there are no miracles of God. The other, everything is a miracle.

148 Pau Mohamad Akram

148th recipient of help (livelihood bicycle) :

“There are two ways to live your life. One, as though there are no miracles of God. The other, everything is a miracle.” says, Albert Einstein.

For both, however, you must row your boat. And the same for serendipity.

Mohammad Akram (55)

Pau/Bread and Khari Biscuit vendor

Mohammad Akram is from UP. He lives at Bandra east, and rides daily from Bandra to Masjid Bundar (VT), nearly 45 kms, to sell Pau and Khari biscuits.

Mohammad’s bicycle is old and dilapidated, and he cannot afford to buy a new one. He was looking to buy a second hand bicycle in good condition, and needed a little help. He had borrowed Rs 2000-2500 from someone to buy one.

When he met me, he agreed to contribute nearly half the cost of a new bicycle if we bought him one. Moreover, after we agreed to buy a new bicycle for him, he was willing to donate his old bicycle to any one needy.

Mohammad’s parents passed away when he was ten to twelve years young. He could not study any further, and would soon have to become a bread winner, like his elder brother.

On their deaths, I thought, maybe their souls traveled to their eldest child – Mohammad’s elder brother. Because, it was Mohammad’s elder brother who took the reins of their family in his hands on their death, and fulfilled the duties of a brother, father and a mother for their family.

Mohammad soon migrated to Mumbai as a teenager in the hope of earning a livelihood. He knew not a soul here on his arrival.

On his arrival in Mumbai, as a teen of 12-14, he worked as a helper in a bakery for over a decade.

However, he realized, the only way to give himself a better chance at life would be if he got a bicycle and rode to their various buyers. He could earn more money if he got far from the fire of the ovens and closer to the fire from the sky, the sun.

Mohammad got himself a bicycle and rode on the streets all year round finding new buyers for the bakery’s produce. Gradually, he established his own clients.

The only time in his life Mohammad felt he will not survive, something he had not felt even when he lost both parents, was when he had suffered from TB, tuberculosis. He remained un-functional for three years due to it.

Luckily for Mohammad, he was married then and so his wife (this was before she has been unwell for now 15 years) took up odd jobs and tailoring to run their house.

Those three years, because he could not afford the treatment, he would take medicines only on days they could afford to buy them.

That is why it must have taken him three long years to get better, I thought.

Mohammad was a stern believer in God. I asked him if he has ever witnessed God’s miracle;

He replied. “When I was new to this city, quite often I went to sleep without a meal. One such night, I was asleep, and suddenly I awoke and read Namaaz, and I decided I cannot struggle like this anymore in this alien city, and in the morning I will borrow money and buy a ticket to return to my village. In the village I will earn less but will be able to find work in the fields.

On my way back from prayers, to the pavement where I would occasionally sleep, I was stopped by a stranger. He told me he is the owner of a bakery, and asked me if I want work at his bakery. I accepted. I would have returned to my village, had this stranger not offered me work.”

I was also glad that Mohammad did not resort to begging, when almost all doors and windows, it seems, had shut on his future.

Was it God’s miracle? Or was that stranger sent by nature from the choices Mohammad had made in the past, or was it serendipity? “There are two ways to live your life. One, as though there are no miracles of God. The other, everything is a miracle.” says, Albert Einstein.

For both, however, you must row your boat. And the same for serendipity.

Thank you to Priyanka/Advait Chaturvedi and Neelam Sorrma for helping Mohammad Akram buy a new bicycle. On his own he could not have stretched his dreams beyond a second hand one.

And thank you to Kohinoor Cycles (http://kohinoorcyclestores.blogspot.com/) Siddharth Vora (https://www.facebook.com/siddharth.vora.58?fref=ts) for the good discount and service.

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https://bicycleangels.wordpress.com/

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Our recipients of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1

(PS – Rs 3000 is what it takes to donate a new bicycle; yes, because the balance, 2000 to 2500, is contributed by the recipient. 🙂 )

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147th donation of livelihood bicycle – #BicycleAngels #RakeshAnandBakshi

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147th recipient of help (livelihood bicycle – Organised by Prashant Neha Taneja, Gurgaon):

Darshan Lal (45) Security Guard

Darshan Lal is from Arroda, district Morena, Madhya Pradesh.

Darshan Lal and his brothers use to do farming when he was young in their village till the time their father was alive. His father did two marriages so he did not get much from parental stuff even their farms were sold off when his father felt ill in order to bear the medical expenses. After that he had no fixed source of income and he started working as worker on daily wages in his own village. He had three children, who were studying at that time. Despite trying hard, he could not meet his daily expenses. For the betterment of his children and family, Darshan Lal came to Gurgaon, leaving his family in the village, and started working here as a daily worker. He use to do all sorts of work that he got in this time of need be it painter or a mason or anything else. He earned hardly 60 rs a day, even this was not sufficient for him and his family.

Six years back, he got into a security company via some broker whom he had to pay some part of his salary for some time in lue of his job. But finally he started getting a fixed salary. Slowly, his life began to settle down a little bit, and he married his elder son, his younger son is studying in 7th standard. He then called his wife and one son to Gurgaon. His son goes to a coaching class and also does a part time job to support his coaching and his father. Darshan and and his son both walk down approx. 5 kms in morning to get a convence to work and then hire a public transport to reach the destination.

Now with this new cycle both father and son would cover 5km of distance together and save some time and energy.

For us this is just a cycle made up of metal frame and rubber tyres but when we handed over the keys to Darshan lal, he worship the cycle as if it’s a God. This act really amazed me and I had feeling of satisfaction that he will take of it very well.

During the conversation Darshan lal reflected that he is pretty much satisfied with his current nature of job since for him just getting a fixed salary is much better when compared to his past life where he could barely earn 60rs a day…………………………..and what we are seeing around us that most of the people are running after money and seems to be unsatisfied with what they currently have, no matter how good they earn and how well settled they are.

Thanks a ton to my friend Amish Gupta, who came forward willingly to finance this bicycle for Darshan Lal.

Through this humble deed I think we have added yet another member in the chain of the many donors who support Rakesh’s Bicycle Angels’ efforts to help less privileged people earn a better livelihood.

Rakesh Anand Bakshi and his donors’ (of Bicycle Angels), and their good work, is behind my own motivation for helping less privileged people in and around Gurgaon. And I hope to help many others like them in future as and when I am able.

– Prashant Neha Taneja (Gurgaon)
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146th recipient of our help: A CP child whose surname is ‘ABC’. #BicycleAngels

146 CP Sachin

146th recipient of help (Walking aid):

Sachin ABC.

Sachin ABC is 6. He has CP – Cerebral Palsy, so is a ‘special’ child, and an orphan.

Sachin ABC travels in an autorikshaw to school, ADAPT at Bandra west, from an orphanage in Chembur. Six children, just like him, having nearly similar challenges and privileges, having CP and all orphans, travel with their caretaker, Mrs Priyanka Jagtap, a dedicated soul.
Dedicated to their care since many years and has seen them through their fears and tears. I spoke in length to her, as the child was incapable of clear-speech and comprehension.

Mrs Priyanka Jagtap said to me, “…. Sachin was two or three days young, when he was found on the street side, abandoned. We do not know if his condition, of the damage in part of his brain, CP, is since birth or then maybe he got a brain injury when he was abandoned by his parent/mother by the way-side.
We have no clue. All we know is that we have to provide him, abandoned children, shelter and an ‘upbringing’ when the Police or the Courts direct such abandoned living souls to us…. Them having CP is incidental. All orphans mean equally to us.”

CP children, their bodies (part of the brain, I mean) may be injured, but their souls are intact, I thought, hearing this passionate social worker cum mother and father speak about these special children that she mentors as her dharma, her duty.

She continued, “… Sachin is more capable than many others around him who have CP. He can comprehend some things we say to him, and he is good in Maths. He helps those around him, he in fact volunteers to help those even less able and less capable than him. That much he understands.”

Then Mrs Jagtap smiled. And, my lips parted too, for the first time, in a smile. Because, often, when we visit these schools, special ones, we forget to smile thinking of their plight. However, I can assure you, I promise you, these children smile and laugh more than what we ‘normal’ people do. Seriously, come along with me someday and feel their smiles light up your own.

She continued, “… Sachin is quite able, actually, however, he cannot walk without aid. (His legs are more damaged than his brain I thought). So we need your help to buy a walking aid for him, so that his legs can experience ‘walking’ and get stronger, however long and many years it will take. He is very alert compared to the others. If something goes missing in class, he can detect it and point it out to his teachers. His best friend in school is a girl (Pallavi) who is 7 and her fingers are too weak to hold anything. Pallavi needs help to be fed.
When little Sachin arrives to school, he will first find out how little Pallavi is, has she brought her food tiffin, and even want to see her.”
Such a cute love story, I thought with a huge smile.

I found out something from their caretaker Mrs Jagtap that I had not known before. She said to me, “These children do not consider themselves as ‘handicapped’. In fact, back home in their orphanage, these special children are not kept segregated from the .normal’ orphans. Because, they will learn to be as normal as possible only if they grow up closely around normal children.
Because they pick up everything normal from those normal kids. If we segregate them, their growth towards normalcy will be nearly impossible.”

Children mirror each other. More than us adults. I think. Hence the CP children must be surrounded by normal children during their formative years at least so that they mirror them and thus strive to do, act, be, and perform, nearly like them. In that lies their better growth. Because they do not know what ‘handicapped’ or ‘physically challenged’ ‘less-abled’ means. It’s their opportunity to aspire to behave like their normal counterparts.

It also reminded me of what my Dad would tell me, “Aspire and dream for things. But also to be with people who know more than you. Let not your ego come in the way of being with more knowledgeable, smarter, more mature and intelligent people and true achievers even if they criticise you about something truly criticisable.”
And, hang with good books. I say. They are giving and not judgmental, even though we judge them, review them, star-rating them. They don’t do that to us. 🙂

Maybe sometimes, our ego or immaturity makes us aspire to be with only those who will flatter us or and not criticize us. That, would be so sad, for us, and more for those who choose to suck-up to us or follow us blindly or with blinkers/blinders on. :p 🙂 Some people, the sensible ones, well, they also keep a dog. Dogs are so dam loving, so dam loveable, and not critical. 😉 :)))

Thank you Sarraf Akanksha for purchasing this walking aid for Sachin. We accepted no contribution from the orphanage towards this humble purchase. It was her pleasure to pay the entire cost of the Walking aid for Sachin.

Btw, I gave Sachin the surname ABC. Because, orphans cannot have a surname, ever thought about that?,until they get adopted. Let’s hope he gains one someday.

(For those who have not read the 142nd post, read on to know more about the dedicated caretaker, Mrs Priyanka Jagtap … :
Munna’s caretaker, Mrs Priyanka Jagtap, to me seemed to be someone who was volunteering at the Orphanage; so I asked her, what made her choose this as her profession, looking after these special, CP, children, that too orphans. They need so much more love, compassion, attention, patience than able bodied and able minded children.
Mrs Jagtap told me, “When I was pregnant with my second child, our doctor suspected my child may be born with a defect, like CP. We were very worried. My husband told me to keep the faith all will be well. My child was born normal.
That is when I decided, if God has been kind to me, saved me from having a CP child, I must look after CP children, especially those who have no parents. I am bringing up my children with proper education and all, so I felt I must do something for orphans and particularly those who have CP.
If we able people do not look after orphans who have CP, who else will? And then, someone has to do it. Because even these CP orphans deserve to have parents. If my children can have parents why these CP special children should not have one? So I have dedicated my life to their care”
As I watched a smiling Munna walk away with the aid of his brand new Walker, however slow he walked, he walked without human support. When dealing with a disability, you look for things to hold onto. Munna holds on to a Walker to deal with his own.
For Mrs Jagtap, it is gratitude she holds on to, to be able to serve special and orphaned children. The service Mrs Jagtap provides to these CP orphans is her gift for dealing with the gift of having ‘normal’ able children. – Rakesh.)

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Our recipients of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1

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145th recipient – Ravinder Singh lost everything he had earned. Including, what money cannot buy, izzat. Respect.

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145th recipient of help (livelihood bicycle – Organised by Prashant Neha Taneja, Gurgaon):

“Kismat – Jindagi kaanto ka safar hai, haunsla easki pachan hai, raste pe to sab chalte hain, jo rasta banaye vahi insaan hai.

Ravinder Singh aka Vakil Saahab (50) – Sr. Security Guard

Ravinder Singh popularly also known as ‘Vakil sahib’ is B. Sc., LLB and has practiced law for around 20 years and was very happy in his life when he was practicing law.

He has four kids, 2 elder daughters, married in good families and 2 sons. Everything was smooth till Ravinder Singh got trapped into a fake case and was disbarred from practice. This incident turned everything upside down, destroyed the life he once knew, as Ravinder Singh lost everything he had earned. Including, what money cannot buy, Respect.

To get over his past and give a new start to his life he migrated to Gurgaon where his elder son lived. After some time he started working as a security guard for SLV, working the 12 hours shift to earn a living. He is known to us society members since last six years and we have found him fulfilling all his duties responsibly and smilingly.

Sometimes people yell at him or scold him for something or the other but he never argues back, and replies them patiently with his now well known smile, which he always carries on his face, in spite of his past suffering. He has accepted his fate and has learnt to live the new life, however deprived, with a constant smile00. On asking him about his past he says, “Kya kar sakte hain, sab uppar wale ki marzi hai, kismat mai yahi likha tha” and also says that now he is used to it and likes to meet people and speak to them in this new world he now lives in.

Last month his old cycle was stolen and he had to walk approx. 6 kms to his work place. Considering his age, this cycle would help him save time and energy, I thought, and felt he is deserving of our little help.

Thanks a ton to Anit Guatam (brother of my colleague Nitin Gautam), who came forward willingly to finance this bicycle for Ravinder Singh.

Through this humble deed I think we have added yet another member in the chain of the many donors who support Rakesh’s Bicycle Angels’ efforts to help less privileged people earn a better livelihood.

Rakesh Anand Bakshi and his donors’ (of Bicycle Angels), and their good work, is behind my own motivation for helping less privileged people in and around Gurgaon. And I hope to help many others like them in future as and when I am able.

– Prashant Neha Taneja (Gurgaon)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/309043432570135/
https://bicycleangels.wordpress.com/

Recipients https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…
Donors https://www.facebook.com/media/set/…

‪#‎BicycleAngels‬ ‪#‎Charity‬ ‪#‎Donors‬ ‪#‎Donation‬ ‪#‎Bicycles‬ ‪#‎Livelihood‬‪#‎inspiration‬ ‪#‎RakeshAnandBakshi‬ ‪#‎RakeshBakshi‬
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