Category Archives: Altruism

Why cows for Hindus are holy? -by Karolina Goswami

Donate Organs – Save 10 lives

Every year hundreds of Indians die while waiting for an organ transplant. There is acute imbalance between the number of organs donated and the number of people waiting for a transplant. If everyone pledges their organs & tissues to be donated upon death or brain stem death, many people would be given a second chance at life 🙂
That is why I chose to pledge organ donation at Indian government organization :- http://www.notto.nic.in/donor-pledge.htm

Organ Donation in India

Almost 1.5 lakh people in India need a kidney; however, only 3000 of them receive one.
Only 1 out of 30 people who need a kidney receive one.
90% of people in the waiting list die without getting an organ.
India’s annual liver transplant requirement is 25,000, but we manage only about 800.
70% liver transplants are taken care of by a live donor, but 30% are dependent on cadaver donations.

Source: Times of India, DNA

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The Caring Sikh

Source : The Hindu

The Patna man who can’t abandon the abandoned

World Sikh Award to elderly Sikh who cares for abandoned patients in a State-run Patna hospital.

As Patna celebrated the three-day International Sikh Conclave, Gurmeet Singh was getting a cotton shirt and trousers stitched, his first in six years. The sexagenarian Sikh, who hasn’t stepped out of Patna for 13 years, is preparing to receive this year’s World Sikh Award in London, having been picked out of 100 entries from all over the world in the category “Sikhs in Seva” by a London based organization, The Sikh Directory. For over 20 years Gurmeet Singh has been visiting the lawaris or the abandoned patient’s ward of Bihar’s biggest government hospital every night with food, medicine and compassion for poor patients who have no one to turn to. At the lawaris ward patients wait for this Good Samaritan Sikh as someone waits for their angel.

On Wednesday night when The Hindu accompanied Gurmeet Singh to the ward in Patna Medical College and Hospital where there were 11 patients waiting for him. There were no signs of a doctor or nurse in the ward which was stinking with streams of urine and pale blood on the floor. A fetid smell of untouched left-over food given free by the hospital filled the air.

In the dimly-lit ward with lime-green walls, the faces of the patients light up when Gurmeet Singh steps in at 9 every night. “He is like God for us,” says Shanti Devi in a white loose dress. She has been in the ward with her infected leg for the last 15 days. “If Sardarji would not have been coming with food and medicine every night many of us have died,” she says, wolfing down fresh bread, vegetable and a sweet Gurmeet Singh has brought.It is her first meal of the day.

On the other bed in the room, there is a poor old woman from South India, her torn sari barely covering her. She can’t speak Hindi but seeing Gurmeet Singh she manages to sit up smile wanly. Opposite her, an emaciated, bedraggled woman with wild hair and a faded yellow petticoat is struggling to feed a tiny baby in her lap. She looks vacant and though she tries to speak, her voice fails her in every attempt. “She is mentally unsound…delivered the baby 10-days ago…”, says a voice from the next bed where an old lady with a bandage in her left hand sits. In another room Chandra Bhushan Kumar, Dev Prakash Mishra, Bhola Prasad and a mute old man who can’t get up, are waiting for Gurmeet.

Every night riding on his white scooty Gurmeet Singh leaves his small garment shop in the busy Chiraiyatand, buys food packets from a roadside “Radhe Krishna” eatery, near Gandhi Maidan, stops at Braj Ballabh Ghosh, a wheel cart sweet shop at the busy Ashok Rajpath. Sometimes Gurmeet buys eggs instead of sweets for a “change of taste”. With his bag full, he enters the PMCH’s “abandoned” ward, washes his hands in the wash basin takes out the steel plates he has kept there and serves food to the waiting patients.

Then he goes through the prescriptions of the patients and jots down the names of expensive medicines which he will buy. Gurmeet has lost count of the number of times he has donated blood for them. This is his unwavering routine. “Now, the doctors have told me not to donate blood anymore as it will be dangerous for my health…my son and other relatives donate. But sometimes when emergency comes, how can I not?” he says simply. Asked if anything had changed in this hospital in the last 20 years, he says, “Nothing.”

Fearing bad publicity, hospital authorities had banned his entry twice but each time his services were resumed after the intervention of respective District Magistrates. “He is among those rare persons who do selfless service to the human kind…very soon we’re going to honour him with our Prerna doot (Inspiring messenger) award”, Patna DM Sanjay Kumar Agrawal told The Hindu.

How does he manage? “There is a donation box in our house. Our family of five brothers put away 10 per cent of our monthly earnings in it. Our children do not celebrate birthdays or burst crackers during Diwali” Gurmeet says.

But as November 19, the day he will receive the award nears, Gurmeet is worried. Who will take care of the patients when he is gone to London? And how will he speak. As he puts it, “I do not know English, sir!”

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SACRIFICE – An inbuilt resource

Source : http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/

When Krishna talks of the secret of creation, He draws attention to the wheel of karma that is central in the life of human beings. The capacity to do sacrifice is inbuilt in everyone since the time of creation when the creator brought forth human beings along with sacrifice and said: “By this may you grow and sustain yourselves and may this be your Kamadhenu.”

In this context, the reference to the celestial cow Kamadhenu is symbolic of the peace and prosperity that is attainable to people when they are able to make full use of their capacity to sacrifice, pointed out Srimati Sunanda in a discourse. Sacrificing means not denying one’s interests, but implies the willingness to accommodate others’ desires as well. It is the ability to share and think of others without selfishness. It is a wonderful capacity that ennobles human nature, but it is a pity that many cross life without being aware of this inherent capacity in them. This is because we cannot eschew our individuality which manifests as ego.

Circumstances in this world constantly fan the flame of the ego. A word of praise from fellow human beings is always welcome whether one really deserves it or not. One should have the strength and stamina for constant and honest self-appraisal and be ready to receive and withstand criticism. Fostering the capacity to sacrifice one’s faculties for something higher is a mental sadhana that uplifts one towards the ultimate ideal even as one is rooted in the world of reality and worldly existence. A fine balance is to be sought since one is bound by the human society and is also an inheritor of human foibles. Chasing worldly desires leads only to disappointments and never to long-lasting happiness.