Towards a compassionate work culture
Some moments become monumental. Sometimes strangers come across in your life as your own people and give a feeling of belongingness. I feel privileged to share such a remarkable story.
It dates back to 2016 when I delivered a talk at the 11th Foundation Day lecture of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital at India International Centre, New Delhi on the theme of Inclusive and Sustainable Development. More than 600 elite people attended the talk. It was for the first time that they had invited a social worker for their Foundation Day lecture. After the talk, the audience gave a standing ovation.
Overwhelmed and moved by my story of struggle, an old gentleman came to talk to me after the lecture while I was being thronged by the crowd for pictures and selfies. He took me to a side and expressed his desire to give his entire property to carry on my noble work. After that talk, there were so many people who got introduced and that my schedule was packed, I forgot it completely. I took it casually and carried on.
This gentleman followed up continuously after the talk in spite of my hectic schedule. After much persuasion, I finally met the doctor couple, Dr Vijay Sagar Madan and Dr (Mrs) Santosh Kumari Madan who are leading a tough life in Delhi . Both of them are renowned doctors from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi.
I met them at their residence in New Delhi. They were so amazed and overwhelmed by the talk that they wrote their will in my name. I explained to them that I can’t keep a single pie for myself, (by Gods grace)though they could donate for KISS. They wrote the will in favor of KISS. They have also donated their plush flat and fixed deposits for the initiative. Dr. Madan is 80 and active and Madam at 85 can’t travel anymore. Both of them have no help and companion except their pet dog. They have donated their hard earned money for KISS as they don’t have any issue or progeny ahead. Madam is bedridden, but Dr. Madan is active and practicing, managing both work and home.
Life is an irony. They have everything, all wealth and luxury but cannot enjoy at this age. There is no-one to practically help them or to do the daily chores. This couple has been looking out for attendants, nurses, and support, but they have managed to find none. So much of wealth, but no one to take care of this benign couple in the fag end of their lives!
I make it a point to pay them my regards when I am in New Delhi. They always reciprocate my respect for them with extreme love and affection. It is the first experience in my life where people got so touched by the efforts that they donate their entire life savings for the cause.
I am inspired by the magnanimity and philanthropic attitude of this couple, Dr. Vijay Sagar Madan and Dr. Santosh Kumari Madan. But such kind people have to bear the brunt of aging and decay alone. I tried to send some help but they did not stay more than a month. Any arrangement they do for arranging caretakers is also temporary. Either people work to dole the benefits out of this couple or they don’t get the feeling of belongingness. Isn’t it sad that people who have treated patients and given a new lease of life to many desperately need someone to offer them help?
My heart ails when I see them helpless and this about several other people who meet the same fate.
I think about the paradox of situation. There is so much unemployment in India. People are dying out of hunger and malnutrition. They resort to anti-social activities to make easy money. But they don’t take up such tasks for human good and helping themselves in the process of helping others. The unskilled workers can take up such jobs and annihilate the sufferings of the needy.
The dignity of work comes from the attitude towards work and not through the kind and content of work done. It is all about generating the work culture and work ethic where one loves the work and extends the duty not as an obligation, but a means of compassion and service.