When you have passed through hell, you don’t want anybody else to face the same ordeal. When there is a means to do something, you tend to save lives. You use your bad experience as a buffer for fellow human beings against the lashes of misfortune.
Manish, a victim of the Delhi riots of 2020, is guided by such noble thoughts, and his actions bear this out distinctly. His shop was vandalised by a mob that had come armed with petrol bombs and stones. Manish escaped alive, but his shop was razed to the ground.
Sewa Nyaya Utthan Foundation came across Manish during its riot rehabilitation drive. The foundation extended monetary assistance with which Manish could stand back on his feet, and he thanked us immensely. However, that was not the end of our relationship. Manish stayed in touch with the foundation, meeting our sewa volunteers often. Considering that many of our volunteers live in the part of Delhi that was worst affected by the riots, these meetings were easy to arrange.
Manish would soon return our favour. The pandemic and the lockdown that followed destroyed livelihoods and crippled lives. The poor became poorer, the destitute plunged further into destitution. We went all out to help the needy, but our capacity was getting terribly stretched. We needed more volunteers who could take relief to everyone who needed it.
Here, Manish stepped in. He volunteered to be a volunteer for us. His work had been hampered by the lockdown, and he needed support too. Like Manish, many of our beneficiaries had turned into our resources. Some of them have participated in our feeding drives, preparing and distributing food to the hungry. Some others have acted as sewa volunteers and some have even sponsored our campaigns.
Manish shared with us the plight of the people in his area who were struggling to manage their medical expenses. The foundation decided to build a help chain and make Manish its flag bearer. We started transferring relief funds to Manish with which he started helping people from his locality who badly needed it.
This way, Manish found work, while the poor and underprivileged people in his locality got the support they required. We also benefited from Manish’s endeavour and enthusiasm. Manish is grateful that the foundation had given him the opportunity to serve mankind. Having seen how miserable life can be, Manish’s urge for service comes naturally. The foundation was also fortunate to have found a sahyogi (associate) like him. In fact, if you break the word ‘sahyogi’ into ‘sah’ and ‘yogi’, it would refer to a person who meditates with you. If work is worship, as encapsulated by the term ‘karmayogi’, a ‘sahyogi’ toils with you for the success of the work at hand. One can surely say that Manish is a sahyogi and a karmayogi par excellence.