There’s a popular saying in Hindi, “Jo Dikhta hai, wohi bikta hai.” Which translate to say, what appears in front of us, only that can be held accountable for the credit or the blame. And the correctness is as much as anything else. The only one who are seen and respected of all of the people who work for the nation are the freedom fighters, the real heroes, the soldiers, the men in uniform. It’s not about obscuring the glorified ones. It’s about talking of those who stay out of picture. It’s about taking a bow in their honor and feeling the intensity of sacrifice they did to do the good for their country. About the unknown.
This Independence Day, let’s talk of some heroes amongst us, whom we might already know, but not the story behind them.
- THE FOREST MAN OF INDIA
The Island of Majoli, Assam, is the largest river-island in the world. Based in river Brahmaputra, to the north of Johrat, this island has been a victim to the disastrous flooding of the great river Brahmaputra. Since the year 1917, the land has been continuously decreasing and the pace of erosion has gone up recently. It is predicted that in coming 15-20 years, the island would be no more.
In circumstances as this, when the forest life of the island is suffering along with the population of the island, raises up a hero. Jadav Payeng a.k.a ‘Molai’. A man who single-handedly, took up the task of re-foresting the complete area, and is successful till date.
Molai has been planting trees since 1979 and still continue to do so. “after the floods had washed them to the sandbar, I saw 8 snakes dying because of the heat. There were no trees around and so I started planting.”, says Jadav.
The land cover which Molai has planted on covers an area of 550 hectares, which is larger than the central park, NYC (347 hectares).
“I worry about the fate of the world like just like everyone. And I see bad things happening on my island, and I so what I can do to help. I’m just a simple man, there are many just like me.”
When he was asked if he thinks that Majoli could be saved, he said, ”Yes. My dream is to fill Majoli with trees again. Ill continue to plant till my last breath. I tell people to cut me before they cut my trees.”
Salute to the Hero who put his duty towards his people prior to himself. To his determination, and to his love for the people.
- ROAD DOCTOR
“It was near Langer House in the Old City area and I had already seen an accident occur there four days ago. An RTC bus rammed an auto, crushing one person to death immediately. I was horrified by what I saw and realized that if someone had filled the pothole after the previous accident, a life could have been saved,”
And this is where Gangadhar Tilak Katnam, retired senior section engineer of the Southern Railways, began his journey. After retiring Gangadhar took up a job and started filling up any pothole he would see on his way to work and back. As the time passed, his determination, won’t let him sit inside. Ultimately, he did quit his job and for a year after, until June 2012, spent his pension on filling the potholes. his wife didn’t like that and asked their son, to talk some sense into his father. However, seeing his father’s determination, he joined in as well. His son started a website for the same cause and brought media’s attention to Gangadhar’s Selfless Service.
Till date Gangadhar Tilak Katnam has filled more than 1125 potholes to make Hyderabad’s roads safer.
- MEDICINE BABA
Omkar Nath Sharma is a 79-year-old, blood bank technician turned social worker. Omkar Nath Sharma, saw the casualties caused in 2008, metro bridge collapse in Delhi. 2 workers died on spot and many more were injured. Afterwards, the local hospitals, responsible for treating the injured did nothing more than administering casual first aid. Not being able to afford the cost of treatment and medicine, they all were sent home to die.
This incident shook Omkar and he decided to not let something like this to happen again.
He started walking and knocking on doors of well-to-do households of Delhi and ask them for free medicines. He says, “It was difficult in the start, but all the things got in correctly later.”
Omkar Nath Sharma, walks about 5-6 kilometers everyday collecting medicines. ‘Rahat Hi Rahat’ is the name for the free medicine bank where he gives away his medicines to the needy.
This act of compassion has touched all who has seen his work. Thus needless to say, Omkar Nath Sharma is indeed doing a great service for his country.
Salute to the Medicine Baba
Kamala Lochan Balairsingh
The list of such unknown heroes would go on and on. Today, lets take a moment to acknowledge the sacrifice, love, determination of such individuals for the nation. And let’s think of our duty for the nation as well.
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