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Value what you have today

One of my close friends called and asked, “how did you do that?”. At first, I was confused. Then I realized that he was referring to distribution of food packets in the afternoon in Hyderabad. I shared some images via WhatsApp to him and to some other friends and groups.  He was still curious and kept asking me a lot of questions to understand how I managed it.

I explained to him that I had taken the help of my mother and wife to prepare food at home. “Pulihora” will be ideal and easy to pack I thought to myself. Luckily in the beginning of the month, I purchased some disposable containers and they had come in handy now. I told my son to get all the empty water bottles which I normally put at back of my seat in the car. I normally throw them away only after I get home or recycle them if required. There were 10 water bottles, which he cleaned and filled with filtered water and kept ready. 

I told my son to help me distribute food packets and water bottles but remain in the car and not come out. He is all of 15 and I agreed to allow him join me after putting on his face mask and with sanitized hands. We came out of the apartment not knowing where to go. It was lock down and you are not allowed to go beyond 3kms radius from your place of stay. 

I first decided to go to Hitech city circle, where normally at Reg Signal one can see a lot of aged beggars coming near cars. To my surprise, it was totally empty, no signals working, totally barricaded. 2 civil police were posted. I went near and asked if they can help me. I told them I was carrying some food packets and requested to allow me to go further to find some needy and distribute. They agreed and were ready to help me in distributing food packets. I also handed them some packets and water bottles. 

I drove more than a kilometer- deserted roads were all that greeted me on a normally buzzing Hitech City- Jubilee Hills road. After a km, I spotted a lady was sitting on the divider. She spoke in Hindi and said they were stranded and could not return to their hometown. She was quite watchful in her approach to me. Finally, she accepted the food. After giving her a packet, I asked how many of them were with her. 7 she said. I soon found out they were from Madhya Pradesh and had come to Hyderabad to work as construction labourers. I offered her rations since she was shy to accept food. She then told me that she didn’t have any means of cooking. Such was the condition of migrant labour and it saddened me. 

With heavy heart, I went ahead to distribute the food packets to the hungry and needy. There was tight security everywhere and I was at risk of being caught by the police for violating the lockdown. However, I continued my journey. I reached Kondapur circle and found one more police camp. I got down from the car and noticed a makeshift camp of food packets and medicines on the table. I asked if I could distribute the food I was carrying from the camp, to which they readily agreed. 

Today, people realise the value of food and good hygiene, simple things that we took for granted. Because of the lock down, there are a lot of people in need of food. I thought to myself, if I can help 10 people today, it is like helping myself. The good deed would go around a full circle. It was Sri Rama Navami and I felt blessed that I was able to do a good deed.

I circulated the message to my friends circle to multiply the numbers. I know some friends would be motivated if I just push them a little bit. I cautioned them not to break the rules while going around and take care of themselves by wearing masks and keeping sanitizer handy. 

I strongly believe in life’s balance sheet, which is simple, if I help someone in need, I will also get help from somewhere in times of need. Do a good deed today so it will come back to you someday.

 As narrated by Raghunath Kardas – RO AP

#staysafe #stayhealthy

Aapki Jeet. Hamari Jeet.

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