Kindling kindness: Actor Parvin Dabas became a messiah for migrant families in distress

Updated on Jun 10, 2020 10:52 PM IST

Someone forwarded Dabas a hungry child’s photo on WhatsApp; the actor traced the boy’s family and sent ration kits to them and fifty other families in the neighbourhood.

Actor Parvin Dabas(Instagram)
Actor Parvin Dabas(Instagram)
Hindustan Times | ByShara Ashraf Prayag

 “Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn’t commit,” writer Eli Khamarov once used these words to describe economic deprivation. The pandemic has caused indescribable distress to countless daily wagers and casual workers across India who have lost their livelihood.

 A group of about fifty families comprising manual scavengers and migrant daily wage labourers was living in horrifying conditions in hutments perched near Shivar Garden, Thane, Maharashtra.

When Mumbai-based actor Parvin Dabas saw a picture of a four-year-old child from the locality on WhatsApp, he could not hold back his tears. The little boy was hunting for food in a garbage dump. Dabas at once decided to help the child’s family that had got no ration for many weeks.

Dabas traced the boy’s families with the help of Rupa Bhaskaran, a volunteer with Aastha Parivaar NGO that has been distributing emergency ration kits among the needy across Mumbai. The actor immediately arranged for ration kits for the family and fifty other families living in the same area.

 

“Shivar Garden is one of the worst affected areas. There are manual scavengers, daily wage labourers and balloon sellers living here. Earlier, they lived on the footpath but the police removed them during the pandemic. They have perched tents around Shivar Garden. These people are in a terrible state. I am grateful to Parvin Dabas who come forward to help them. One man, Sahil Kumar, broke down when I gave him the kit…he hadn’t eaten for many days,” says Bhaskaran.

 Dabas contacted Suresh Gurjar, a local shopkeeper in Mira Road who has been preparing ration kits for distribution and placed a request. “I received a call from Parvin ji, pehle toh main pehchan nahi paya, unhone bataya ki woh ration kits banwana chahte hai. Unhone 50 pariwaron ke liye kits banwayi (I got a call from Parvin ji. Initially, I didn’t recognise him. He ordered ration kits for 50 families),” says Gurjar. 

 Later, Gurjar’s kids told him that he was a popular actor. Gurjar was moved by Dabas’ act of kindness. “May God bless him for his noble deed. My children are very inspired by him,” he says.

Dabas says he just fulfilled his duty. “Being a father of two, it pains me deeply to see any child in distress. I don’t think I did anything great, I feel I just what I was supposed to do. I can’t say no to anyone who reaches out to me. I believe every child deserves the chance in life to be the best that he can be…the least each one of us can do is to provide every child at least the basic necessities of life in such trying times,” says Dabas.

Such stories restore your faith in there’s some good in this world that is holding it together. 

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