Rajesh .. I had heard the name many times. I had been in awe of him when I heard about the work he was doing – getting destitute patients whom the hospitals have abandoned and thrown outside in the car parking area and the like, and sheltering them and looking after them like they are your own is not what every other person can do isn’t it?
When I met him this January, he just left me spellbound. Simple and down-to-earth, he talks like he is doing nothing but his duty. He said that his inspiration has always been Swami Vivekananda. He read this one statement from Swami Vivekananda’s works – “If in this hell of a world one can give a moment of respite and happiness to another person without expecting anything in return that alone is truth. All else is trash” and felt that if he could live his life by that one line, nothing could be more gratifying.
Rajesh picks up orphan patients lying outside leading government hospitals which he keeps visiting regularly to ensure no one is left without care. He believe that every single person has to live and die with a certain dignity – that’s why he has even picked up people who might be alive just for a few hours too. It’s heart-wrenching to see just-borns and little kids abandoned due to their sickness 😦
These patients are usually admitted by ambulance people but later, they are literally dragged out of the hospital because they don’t have the money for the treatment to be carried out. He adds that we might see an altogether different set of people when we visit his Ashram next time, because the lifespan of the inmates suffering from various diseases is so very small 😦 He says that he takes one patient for treatment to the hospital and ends up getting 4 more.
Rajesh quit 8 jobs in one year putting service over his career. His face changes almost every month because of some skin infection, inspite of taking very good care of his health and hygiene and all precautions like gloves and masks etc while serving these destitutes. He is doing everything like giving them bed pans to cleaning their bodies etc for all these years. Inspite of this, he says, he CANNOT ignore any person on the footpath, a person whose name/address he might never know too!
Photography is prohibited in this place, but I am sharing a few pics I got from Ramakrishna Math Hyderabad, to give you a glimpse of the work he has been doing – not easy at all! Am not sure how many of us can really do this day in and day out 😐
He says ‘I am deriving the same pleasure and happiness by this service that a person is getting by getting a highly-paid job, by having a girl/boy friend of his choice, by building his own big house and living in it etc. The same pleasure and happiness. I am a very happy man, believe me.‘ Rajesh has been serving for about 15 years now and he is just in his early thirites :!:, so u can well imagine! Such men are hard to find, and like they say the world thrives because of them! You have to see it to believe it 🙂
For more details, please visit Bharathi Memorial Foundation.
8th May: Rajesh on IBNLive today 🙂
P.S: Coming up next – Review of Sags‘s awesome book – A Calender Too Crowded 😉