R in his lasted blog mentions a touching letter written by a father after the loss of his son in battle. In his trying to define what makes a true hero, this grieving father writes the following:
But even more, being a hero comes from respecting your parents and all others, from helping your neighbors and strangers, from loving your spouse, your children, your neighbors and your enemies, from honesty and integrity, from knowing when to fight and when to walk away, and from understanding and respecting the differences among the people of the world."
OIne wonders if such heroes exist... they do.. one just has to know how to recognise them as they often remain invisible, and melt away in the background, or are simply taken for granted..
We have one such person...
Sitaram came to us a couple of years back when he was desperately seeking funds to get his son Raju a much needed heart surgery.. there was something poignant about this gentle man, who hobbled on a stick having suffered a stroke and who was willing to give everything he had to save his ailing son.. We could not remain silent spectators and we found the funds and Raju was operated upon. He is now back in school and will be going to class VI..
Normally people helped are grateful.. but Sitaram's debt of gratitude was of another kind. He soon started ferrying children in a cart, that became our famous why-on-wheels, but it is just today that I realise how much more Sitaram has done with utmost discretion and compassion..
Babli and Nanhe are both children that Sitaram brought to project why.. as well as Munna and many other children in need of our help.. He took upon him to get Babli's first check ups and thus ensure that she get the much needed operation.. Each time a problem occurs, he is always the first one to offer help, no matter how back breaking the task..
But there is another side to his compassion, one that often goes unnoticed.. a few days back when he was a little delayed for his afternoon shift, we were surprised to learn that he had taken a little time off to go visit Nanhe in hospital... something no other staff member had yet done..
Sitaram once was a man running a little tea stall. His son's heart condition compelled him to leave the confines of his lane and come into contact with the big bad world as he ran for over a year looking for help ; what he found was false promises and humiliations..as he knocked every imaginable door.. even that of the First Citizen.
So when help came, for Sitaram it could not end with a thank you.. he intuitively embraced the pwhy spirit and became a silent ambassador, bringing hope in a way so discreet that none of us recognised it..
a true invisible hero