Y.S. Rana ,Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh): Danny Boyle may have become a slum dog millionaire in reel Hollywood life, but an NGO is making many a local Danny Boyle millionaire in real life. Hope having replaced despair in their lives; and their emotions, numbed by abject poverty, having begun to feel the surge again, these slum dogs are no longer confined to the confines of mainstream society. The nervous kids of yesterday are a picture of confidence today, and a source of inspiration for others too. And the agent that has brought about this metamorphosis in their lives is the Hamirpur-based Sarv Kalyankari Society. Founded by son-of-the-soil Rajinder Rana, the once nascent organization is now a formidable 3,500-member-strong force and is reckoned as a leading social organization in north India. Living up to its name, the Sarv Kalyankari Society has emerged as a beckon of hope for the poor and the downtrodden. Known for his passion for social service, Rana, who was born in Patlandar, a tiny village in district Hamirpur of Himachal Pradesh but raised in Chandigarh, formed the society two decades ago with only five members to give his passion an outlet.
The society strives to reach out to the needy in times of need. It has adopted a government middle school in Sujanpur Tira village of Himairpur district which has 109 students from poor families of the area. Besides paying their fees, the society also meets other expenses. As many as 58 students are being provided with summer and winter uniforms. “It is gratifying indeed to see the students, having dreams in their eyes and will in their hearts, achieving what they aspired for. With the past of despair behind them, they now look up to a future which is potent with unlimited potential,” remarked a teacher of the school.
For ten-year-old Amar of Hamirpur, the society has opened a new world. Born in a poor family, he could never have dreamt of going to a school. But thanks to the efforts made by the society, Amar and his family have a reason to smile. He is loo0king up to a bright future. And Amar is not alone. There are more than 760 Amars the society has sent to school. The society is also providing pension, ranging between Rs 200 and Rs 500 per month, to ten elderly people of the district. Mr Yashpal Aggarwal, President of the Society, said that the society had never taken any grant from the government to run its activities. Every member of the society donates a part of his/her income to the society every month.
Buoyed up by success of its efforts on the education front, the society decided to widen the ambit of its activities to include healthcare. Since 2004, it has been organizing free medical camps for the benefit of poor. So far, six such camps have been held under the guidance of experts/specialists from PGI and Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, where thousands of patients were examined and tested for various diseases free of cost. Medicines worth Rs 35 lakh have been distributed among the patients at these camps. Poor patients in need of surgery were also recommended to the PGI and GMCH-32. “We are trying to provide healthcare at the door steps of the rural poor people. The response has been amazing,” stated Mr Rana.
Besides, the society has solemnized marriages of 2582 poor girls of which more than 1,000 belonged to ‘Dalit families,’ by providing assistance both in cash and kind, to their families. The society has also distributed 12,500 steel glasses, 471 ‘daris’ and 500 Gas Chullahs to 250 Mahila Mandal of the district. Not only this, it has honoured 35 families of Kargil war heroes from Hamirpur district.
With a view to promoting and encouraging sports, the society confers ‘Hamir Rattan’ award on players bringing laurels to the state. The society has also instituted the ‘Himachal Gaurav’ award which is given to those who have done exceptionally well in their respective fields. Asked what kept him going and doing all this, Mr Rana quipped, ” “It is simply my passion for social work that keeps me going.”
True, if all over the world there are people with problems so there are also people like Mr Rana with solutions. EOM