Odisha Special

Jharsuguda’s Ex-Army Man, The Angel In Disguise For An Ice-Cream Seller Couple

Jharsuguda: ‘Nar Seva – Narayan Seva’. This Hindi phrase translates to ‘Service to Humanity is Service to God’. Seva or service here may be interpreted to mean philanthropy, charity, or help to needy in times of distress or difficulty.

COVID-19 pandemic brought along with it despair and distress for millions of families who toil hard to make their living. One such family was of Jogeswar Bagh, whose livelihood – selling ice creams, was hard-hit by the COVID scourge.

With a meagre or no income for days together, the family managed to survive under a mud-walled premise covered with a polythene sheet at their abode in MCL Colony at Bandbahal under Lakhanpur Block here. The elderly couple was under duress as the winters approached.

To their rescue came a Good Samaritan of Jharsuguda, Rajendra Digal who spent Rs 1.50 lakh from his pension to build a house for the Bagh couple. Retired personnel of the Indian Army, Digal said it gave him immense satisfaction to do something for the needy.

“We feel delighted. This family was in distress and both Bagh and his wife are ageing. There is great pleasure in giving. I urge people of our society who are in a position to give, to try this practice. It not only counts blessings but brings smiles which are precious,” said Digal.

Today, the Bagh couple’s joy knows no bounds. Jogeswar could not avail the Government scheme for a house as he did not have a Patta (Record of Rights), though his name appeared in the Government housing programme beneficiary list. “The generosity of Mr Digal and his wife is infinite. They have helped us in very bad times,” said Bagh.

“I used to sell ice-creams in the locality for a living. The source of income was affected during the lockdown and now my health does not permit to move out with the ice-cream trolley,” he added. Bagh and his wife now survive on Government assistance of Rs 500 and nine-kilogram rice every month.

Digal and his wife Sujata have appealed for assistance and suitable employment for this needy family.

No doubt, the effort and initiative of Digal is praiseworthy. However, there is a message hidden in the deed which people need to decipher. In a diverse economy as India, equitable distribution of wealth and resources will never be easy. And we cannot just sit back and blame people in power for poverty and distress.

A self-committed act of benevolence at individual levels can solve problems of many. All it requires is some empathy and little generosity to step that extra mile and help – at least one family which really needs it.

Rajendra Digal, Ex-Indian Army Personnel

Sujata Digal, Rajendra's Wife

Jogeswar Bagh, Ice-Cream Seller

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