Ujjain: Angels in human form, as they are fondly called, doctors form an essential part of man’s life on earth. What would one call a person, who is passionate about saving human lives and yet not a doctor? An angel or a messiah? Meet ‘garib pardesi,” an 80 year old die-hard Punjabi with an indomitable spirit that fights against all odds to serve the underprivileged.
“Garib pardesi’s” tryst with charity is not new. He has been offering free medical services to those suffering from various ailments for approximately 30 to 40 years. Asked about how this idea occurred to him. He said, “In our country, there is big chasm between patients and health care facilities available. What is worse is that the poor and downtrodden bear the brunt of this, even more as these facilities elude them. It was then that it occurred to me that something needed to be done for the underprivileged of the society.”
He explained that he was tagged ‘garib pardesi as he feels ‘garib’ is one who could give others unselfishly and unconditionally. He says a ‘pardesi’ is one who will never live forever. We all have to bid adieu some day to this existence. So long as we are alive, we must make sure whatever work we undertake should be towards the welfare and development of mankind. Our work alone will immortalize us.”
“It all started way back in May, 2000 when we first held special eye camp with the help of Dr. Janbir Singh. Then we continued to hold them at various locations in the city. Then eight years back, we shifted ourselves to the ‘Gurudwara’ located in Freeganj. There, every Sunday and Friday, we offer Ayurvedic medicines and meals for free. Our patients mainly constitute labourers, and workers. Before checking in, each patient is provided with 2 biscuits and a cup of tea least they should take prescribed medicines on empty stomach,” he says.
He adds, “No work can be done without a team therefore I am privileged to have Dr Ram Arora, MD (Ayurveda), Dr Devendra Tyagi and Dr Yogendra Tiwari by my side. I am hugely indebted to them and it is under their patronage that I have been able to do what I have done so far.” When asked about how long he intends to do this exceptional service to humanity, he says emotionally, “as long as I live. I will continue to serve the mankind till the last drop of blood drawn from my body.”