After completing the Asr prayers I was just coming out the mosque that by the side of the door I saw a poor man holding the hand of a little girl asking for alms. At the first sight I ignored their call but soon when I came close to the duo I felt myself ashamed and felt guilty for ignoring their call. I found they were genuine people to help.
At first I thought these were professional beggars. As usual the beggars have made begging their profession instead of searching for work. They have found it very easy and profitable job to beg on the streets, and entrances of large mosques, particularly during the fasting days.
It was with this intension that I did not first pay any heed to them, but when I realized that the little girl basically was a specially abled by her both eyes , and it was her father who had been standing by her side. I felt guilty and rushed back with ashamed feelings to respond to their call. I cursed myself and apologized and sought forgiveness.
It was only few days back that I offered Nimaz at the grand mosque of Reshimol at Reshi Bazaar Anantnag. And after completing my prayers I, with other people, moved towards the exit point. when I just reached at the exit door of the mosque I saw a poor father holding hand of her specially-abled girl standing at the masque door and begging.
The poor daughter looked 17 or 18. Although she was clad very poorly but looked cute. I observed keenly and felt she was blind by both her eyes
Her father was politely gazing at the people coming out of the mosque. He looked scared and helpless and at the same time it looked very clear as if he had no practice of begging. I realized he was not any professional beggar. Indeed people coming out of the mosque contributed voluntarily.
Extending his right hand for alms, sometimes her father would take the hand towards his cute sightless girl’s head, and would correct her head cover which was slipping from her head.
I realized that in such a painful condition her father was quite concerned about modesty of her growing ill fated girl. He would often take care of her head scarf. The little girl would also bow her head towards her father’s hands. It was really a shocking scene, a real life scene.
In fact daughters are quite dear to their fathers and if any daughter is in distress that is very much painful for her father. I am myself father of a daughter, and being a parent I could understand the plight of this ill fated father whose daughter was specially disabled by both eyes. You would not believe I was shocked and had no words to express my feelings. Sometimes such painful events badly affect your mind. This episode clicked my conscience.
I felt the pain and agony which reflected on the faces of the duo. I put my hand on the head of this ill-fated girl. For a moment I was shocked but when she smiled I could understand how much brave she was. In fact despite feeling their pain I could do nothing.
I reentered the mosque and “complained” to God and sought His forgiveness. Indeed God is magnificent. We cannot understand His kingdom, but as a human we feel about the specially abled people, particularly with eye disability.
It is learnt that India is home to about 3 lac children who have got sight disability, and government of India has taken various measures to attend this problem. But the steps taken in this direction by Rajasthan government are extra ordinary.
I recently read in the Business Times that to curb the blindness, the Department of Medical and Health Sciences of Rajasthan, on the directions of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, has framed policy called right to eyesight for all. The policy has been introduced with an aim to bring light in the lives of more than three lakh people suffering from visual impairment in the state. Under the policy, it is learnt that the Rajasthan government will mandatorily run Keratoplasty Centres and Eye Banks at all the government medical colleges.
Also, cornea collected by private organisations and NGOs getting financial help from the government will have to be provided to the government institutions on priority. Efforts to eliminate visual impairment would be made in the districts in collaboration with voluntary organizations, trusts, hospitals and other charitable institutions working in this field.
In this regard, the state government will carry out a campaign for eye donation on an extensive level along with the private institutions. Special training will be imparted to eye experts, eye surgeons, post-graduate students, counselors working for eye donation and eye assistants etc.
If this policy is really implemented then it would really be a revolutionary step in the health sector of the state and thousands of children facing sight disability would get their eye sight. The other state governments are hoped to follow the footsteps of Rajasthan Government.
Let the respective governments do their job but we as human beings shall not only depend on the governments but individually, also collectively, come forward to help the specially-abled children, particularly the children specially abled by eye sight.
We can also come forward to donate eyes and help in building eye banks; we can also donate other eye related equipments. Our endeavor shall be that children with no eye sight shall get eye sight back so that they can also see this beautiful world by their own eyes.
Indeed this is our fasting month and we are fasting to seek blessings of God. But besides fasting if we also help such children who are specially-abled we can earn more blessings.
Let us also distinguish between the genuine and fake baggers and do not fill the pockets of the traditional beggars. We must identify those who are genuinely in need of help and there can be no such needy people other than the children and people with disability.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.