150A) recipient of help, a livelihood bicycle.
The biggest enemy we can have is ourselves; when we refuse to see that the Sun’s rays will eventually fall upon us too.
Maruti Sadu Padyar (36)
When I first saw Maruti, he came across as sad, depressed, hopeless, defeated, a real ‘bechara’. Sorry to use such a pity-full word, because any act executed from a feeling of pity is never desirable and pity often clouds our perception of the victim. Pity steals dignity from the victim of your pity.
Rarely does it happen, that on someone’s physical appearance I have decided that he/she must be helped by us. I wanted to help this fellow, Maruti, right upon seeing him. And what an irony, that such most unfortunate people are the ones you feel even more joy helping.
Maruti, another name for Lord Hanuman JI, lives at Pangalewadi, Pawas, Ratnagiri. We met him at the end of our Pune to Ratnagiri bicycle ride in Dec 2015. Thanks to Mukul Madhav Foundation. His family consists of himself, his bed ridden father and his old uncle. Maruti is unmarried, and there are no surviving female members in their family. He cooks the daily meals for his family.
Maruti wakes up early morning and delivers newspaper to 25 houses. He does not own a bicycle, so he delivers them on foot. He never believed it is possible for him to ever own a bicycle.
It seemed to me, that Maruti never applied his mind that having a bicycle can increase his area of operation and thus his income. He never thought he will ever be able to afford one. That, made me sad; a man who cannot see the sun even during cloudless skies. Maybe he did hope for owning a bicycle, but, was not able to save enough money to buy even a second hand one.
Maruti earns Rs. 50/- per month per newspaper and has only 25 clients at Pawas. Having just a few homes to deliver newspapers to, Maruti works as a manual laborer whenever possible.
However, it is not that easy finding even manual work. The average number of days in a month he finds manual work is 12, and @ Rs. 200/- per day, I believe Maruti clearly falls below the poverty line. Thankfully, he has a roof over his head, but it is in a dilapidated condition, just like the walls. He was one of the rare beneficiaries we have helped who did not have a cell phone.
I found it hard making Maruti speak. I had to literally put words in his mouth. I had to really convince him about how owning a bicycle can make him fly like Lord Hanuman Ji (Maruti) on his garuda bird. It was when I invoked the name of Lord Hanuman JI that Mariti’s eyes went moist.
And it is only then that I felt Maruti had finally made a connection with me.
Because Maruti now looked at me with some hope, I explained to him how he can use the bicycle to add milk as an additional product, other than newspapers, to deliver to people’s homes, or to the chai walas in Ratnagiri. He can work for some restaurants in the evenings that do home delivery of food parcels and earn some more money.
Distances that overwhelmed him once will now become slaves to his brand new two wheels soon.
I tried hard to make Maruti smile, because I was determined to see him smile before I leave. I may never ever meet him ever again. I kept encouraging him on the potential, how owning a bicycle can help him increase his income more than two fold. And only when I saw a halfhearted faint smile slip out of his lips I knew his interview was finally over. Blessed be.
The biggest enemy we can have is ourselves; when we refuse to see that the Sun’s rays will eventually fall upon us too. I left Ratnagiri with the satisfaction that Maruti sees hope. The same hope that just as his namesake, Lord Hanuman JI, instills in us at the mere mention of his name or the chalisa (Hanuman-chant).
I promised Dr Ashutosh I will pay for Maruti’s bike’s first complete service and a change of tyres the very first time he needs it executed, which may be by the time I revisit Ratnagiri same time next year.
This brand new smile 🙂 was gifted by Priyanka & Advait Chaturvedi on the occasion of her birthday (Jan 3rd 🙂 ) and we all wish Priyanka “Happy birthday, and blessed be.”
We handed the bicycle to Maruti at Ratnagiri, at Mukul Madhav Vidayalaya, Golap, at the end of our Pune to Ratnagiri Cyclothon in Dec 2015, which included a free medical health camp for nearly 3000 Zilla Parishand school children sponsored by #MukulMadhavFoundation, (MMF), the NGO based in Pune. MMF’s team helped us locate this beneficiary through their rural sources.
Beneficiaries of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1
#HumanityOurReligion #Empower #Empowerment #Charity #Donation #Livelihood #Bicycles #Inspiration #RakeshBakshi #ProudIndian #JaiHind #Humanize #Equalize #Spiritualize #BicycleAngels