I watched the Hindi movie ‘Laawaris’ when I was a young lad of ten or twelve in grade school. Being too young to discern facts from fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie in which the dashing and macho Amitabh Bachchan plays the hero and the beautiful Zeenat Aman his lady love. In the movie, the hero is abandoned by his parents at a young age and is picked up from the streets by a thug. He grows up into a dashing young man and the movie is all about how he finds revenge.
Naturally, in the end, Amitabh and his father (played by Amjad Khan) who regrets the callous way in which he had treated his partner (Raakhee) and his son, get together and bash up a horde of villains in the typical Bollywood style. Now, after all these years the word ‘Laawaris’ popped up again and this time, at the age of fifty-two, I found it with reference to a ward in a hospital.
In the Patna medical college, there is a ward that goes by the name of ‘Laawaris’ ward. It is meant for abandoned patients. The fact that people can abandon their near and dear ones who are ailing and helpless itself shocks the conscience deeply. But that is a topic for another post. In this post, I would like to introduce you to an unassuming man named Gurmeet Singh who feeds the patients who occupy the ‘Laawaris’ ward.
He is a soft-spoken man and is the owner of a garment shop in Patna’s Chirayatand locality. This man purchases food items, sweets and occasionally eggs with his own money and makes it a point to visit the ‘Laawaris’ ward and feed the patients every night at 9 PM. He purchases the food from a nearby eatery called the Radhe Krishna eatery. He has been doing this without fail for the past twenty-six years.
On his visits, if he finds that the condition of any of the patients is deteriorating he immediately rushes and brings it to the notice of the doctor in the emergency ward. Sometimes he also takes note of the medicines in the patients’ prescriptions and purchases it for them later. Apart from this sometimes Gurmeet also donates blood for the patients.
But he is now in his sixties and the doctors have warned him not to donate blood anymore as it could be deleterious to his health. His son and relatives donate blood for the patients too. Asks Singh, ‘It may be harmful to my health but how can I refuse blood if a patient is in danger and needs it?’ The food Gurmeet Singh brings is sometimes the first meal of the day for many patients.
Says one of the patients, ‘If Sardarji would not have come with food and medicines every night, many of us would be dead by now.’ I salute this hero of the masses who does what he does selflessly and without expecting anything in return. It is this kind of service that keeps the indomitable spirit of the human soul alive.
Read more about Gurmeet Singh in the following links.