Anokhe Lal – A Simple Man of Peace and Kindness
Anokhe Lal was a do-gooder — a man of simple tastes and limited money. The name was appropriate since the name meant a strange person, a man whom we see rarely in society. He lived in a small hut in a poor colony. People from his neighbourhood recognised him and were kind to him. They would give him some food and money and Anokhe would give a beautiful smile to acknowledge the kindness.
One day while he was sitting on a bench in a nearby garden, he saw a boy of about 12 years old with a toy airgun. The boy looked at some birds sitting on a branch of a tree, aimed his airgun and down fell a beautiful bird. The boy quickly ran towards the tree, picked up the bird that lay gasping for breath and soon died. “Look my aim was so perfect,” he said proudly.
Anokhe Lal walked over to the boy and patted him on his shoulder. “Yes your aim was perfect but what will the bird’s mother feel? She will be unhappy that her baby has died. When you hurt yourself, your mother feels sad. Doesn’t she?”
The boy was silent for some time “I am very sorry” he replied, his face downcast. Anokhe said gently, “Yes you now understand that the bird is a living being. We must protect birds and butterflies and animals and never kill them”.
A family invited Anokhe Lal on the birthday of their child Arjun. Anokhe Lal did not want to go, he felt uneasy being in the company of so many people. But Arjun’s mother insisted and so he went over to Arjun’s birthday party.
There was fun and merriment as children played and sang. Cake and delicious food were soon served. The children ate voraciously but a lot of food was left over which would be dumped in the dustbins. Anokhe saw this and felt he should do something. With the help of Arjun and his friends, he started collecting the leftovers and put them in a jute bag that Arjun brought over.
Anokhe picked up the bag went outside Arjun’s home and distributed the food to the children living in neighbouring slums. A few elderly people also came over and gladly accepted the leftovers. Everybody enjoyed the food and there was merriment all around. Anokhe felt pleased as punch.
A big College was situated nearby Anokhe’s hutment. One day he saw a Red Cross bus standing outside the College for the purpose of blood donation. A few College students came over to donate blood but the Red Cross people wanted more donations. So, Anokhe Lal started persuading some youngsters who were there to come over to the bus and donate blood. Some of them asked, “Why should I donate blood? What will I get for doing so?” Anokhe Lal in his simple and sincere manner explained the benefits of blood donation and persuaded several young people to contribute to this worthy cause.
The neighbourhood park always attracted children. One day Anokhe saw several children jumping around, playing, and making a lot of noise. He went over towards them to see what they were playing hockey with bamboos and homemade sticks. These children were playing but another child was sitting near them quietly. Walking over to the boy, he saw that the child could not see properly but was still enjoying the game vicariously.
Anokhe wondered what he could do to help the child. He remembered that there was an eye doctor’s clinic not far away. He went over to the Doctor who said “Bring over the boy and I’ll see what can be done.” Anokhe and the boy Kishan went to the Doctor. After examination, the Doctor said, “I cannot guarantee about both the eyes but at least there will be vision in one. But it will cost some money”.
“About two thousand rupees”.
Anokhe kept quiet. How so much money could be arranged, he wondered. He talked with some students of the College and after some efforts, they were able to find out about an NGO which helped children in need of help.
The NGO helped with money and the Doctor did his bit. Kishan could see – with one eye properly and with the other partially. Kishan and his family were happy. Anokhe Lal was overjoyed.
Dr Ravi P Bhatia – Educationist and Peace Researcher. Retired Professor, Delhi University. firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 18 Apr 2016.
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