To practice philanthropy, one does not always need big money. Just an instinct and a big heart does. That’s what Anil Singh, 47, of Rampur had.
Moved by the plight of a cancer patient, whose family of five begged on the streets of Ara to buy him medicines, Singh started a unique initiative, which is now helping many cancer patients and their families to stay afloat.
“It was difficult to believe, that there could be people so limited in this world and without means who were put to excruciating pain and there were so few willing to help,” Singh recalls.
That pain in him forced him to reach out. He asked people to donate read newspapers to help out cancer patients. Collecting them, moving door to door and then selling them to raise money, Singh has been able to help out five cancer patients lessen their pain, and his endeavour is now starting to catch the imagination of the common man.
He started out from Barhara, forming an organisation “Purane Akhbar, De Do Pyar” in the month of January this year and now has 170 members who paid Rs 5 each to set it up.
“My only insistence is that the members should be newspaper readers and they should be willing to contribute,” he says.
The members help Singh collect newspapers even as they donate. The collected newspapers are brought to one place and sold to scrap paper collectors to raise the money to help the poor cancer patients foot their medical bills. The organisation also intervenes with doctors to bring down fees or get them sample medicines to keep the budget down.
Dhurandhar Singh of Gyanpur Semariya village under Nathmalpur panchayat of Barhara block was pleasantly surprised when he received a donation of Rs 12,000 and 50 kg of rice collected by the organisation on December 20.
The organisation has already raised and distributed Rs 50,000, selling used newspaper and collected grain to help such families.
Suresh Bind of Semariya under Barhara block, Radheshyam Pandit of Bara Basantpur in Ara, Saregna Devi of Lakshmipur under Barhara block and Kaval Prasad of MP Bagh Mohalla of Ara, have also benefited from the organisation.
“We started collecting grain when we realised that in most cases, with the only earning member rendered sick and jobless family members often had to go wthout food. They too needed food and assistance, and we do what best we can,” says Singh, adding, “I love helping them as it fills my heart with great satisfaction.”
As he says, “Wasted newspaper would not fetch more than Rs 10 per kg to subscribers, but such donations collected from many, can give life to a person. Can there be a better bargain?” he asks.