At 76, Sardarji is a lighthouse for society | delhi | Hindustan Times
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At 76, Sardarji is a lighthouse for society

Seventy-six-year-old Hardev Singh Sawhney from Delhi's Patel Nagar is not your regular grandpa who cherishes his retirement days. For the last two years, Sawhney has “adopted” as many as eight senior citizens in his neighbourhood, reports Nivedita Khandekar.

delhi Updated: Jun 19, 2008 02:57 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Seventy-six-year-old Hardev Singh Sawhney from Patel Nagar is not your regular grandpa who cherishes his retirement days and at most, works a few hours for the local RWA. For the last two years, Sawhney has “adopted” as many as eight senior citizens in his neighbourhood.

“My relatives visit me once in a blue moon. But Sardarji comes here every week to inquire about my health,” says 82-year-old Pushpa Baweja, who has been facing a number of health problems for a few years now.

“I am fortunate, I can pay to get odd jobs, like paying bills, done by trusted people. But over and above, he (Sawhney) has been a great support, as I know I can call him anytime for any help,” she adds.

Sawhney, is his capacity as an honorary special police officer, not just offers moral support to such senior citizens staying alone, but also spends from his pocket for their requirements. For instance, Sudarshan Girdhar’s residence had no safety equipment. “He installed the magic eye on my door. And every time he visits, Bhai Sahab instructs me to lock the door properly and not open it before checking,” she says with twinkle in her eyes.

Bimla (83) and Brahma Anand (88) are yet another example of how Sawhney’s selfless ways benefit the needy. Residents of Patel Nagar since 1950, the couple fondly remembers their early morning walks for years to Dhaula Kuan. “But now its almost three years we have not moved out except for the most necessary,” rues Brahma Anand.

Bimla, who has health problems after she has had several fractures over the last few months, coupled with diabetes, adds, “He will always come with a pack of mithai as he knows my husband loves it.”

For Laxmi Gobindram, he actually removed encroachment by rickshaw pullers from an empty house besides her home. “It was becoming increasingly unsafe for her. So I did it,” Sawhney says.

“I like to give … sweets, gifts and whatever I can. I believe, by giving to others, Lord will give me back more and more,” he adds nonchalantly.

Says a police officer from the area, “The police cannot reach every door. Such endeavours offer huge psychological support, specially for those staying alone.

What next? With no signs of tiredness, Sawhney will soon be a special traffic warden of his area.