Lean and tall, Babu is a familiar figure in Kowdiar. Delivering letters at every doorstep early in the morning, Babu, the postman, shares a good rapport with the residents.
It is not only his commitment to work that makes him a favourite among all. Babu works for a bigger cause - doing his bit for the patients of the Regional Cancer Centre.
It was losing his younger sister to the deadly disease that made Babu realise the severity of the conditions of cancer patients. That led to his work in getting whatever financial help he could to the poor patients of the RCC.
However, Babu started his charity work much before. He kept aside a small part of his salary every month for people needing heart surgeries or to buy food for the less fortunate. “Everyone chants the name of god, but no one wants to do anything for humans. There are only words, there is no action,” he says.
Babu acted. When he began his charity work, he did not ask anyone for help. Gradually he began to gather people who were willing to help. “I talked to people who I deliver letters to. Most of them were quite open to the idea of making generous donations to the poor patients of the RCC. One of them suggested setting up a charity association.”
That led to the formation of Swanthanam Charitable Society, of which Babu is the secretary. Formed in 2007, the society donates around Rs.25,000 almost every other month, to the patients of RCC. “Initially we used to contribute it to the food committee of the RCC, because every patient has to pay Rs.60 for food everyday. Later, we started giving the amount directly to the patients at programmes that we organise, or else, we take it to their homes.”
MS Mathews, president of the society, says: “Babu once came to us and asked if we could do something for the poor patients of the RCC. He is a good and sincere worker. The society has been able to do some good work to help the less fortunate cancer patients.”
The society has helped over 225 people so far. “In addition to the costly medicines, they have a lot of expenses to meet everyday,” says Babu. “If they do not get any financial aid, their situation would be very pathetic.”
Babu continues to make his own bit of contributions whenever he could. He has taken it upon himself to give 10 kg of rice every month, to a cancer patient in his neighbourhood, ‘who does not even own a cent of land’, has two children, and was abandoned by her husband.
Last year, the Rotary Club presented him an award for the good work he has been doing. Babu the humanitarian, gave away the cash award to the society.
Padmaja, postal assistant at the Kowdiar Post Office, says: “Babu is a good person. He will always be at the forefront for such social work. He is also sincere in his postal duties. It is the good communication he has with the people he delivers letters to, that helped in starting this noble initiative. The society helps in getting food and medicine for cancer patients and donate some amount during festivals like Onam and Christmas.”
Babu, in addition to his job and social work, is also the president of his Residents Association in Aruvikkara. To Babu’s simple mind, there is no meaning in speaking great words without doing anything to fulfil it. If everyone had a mind to help his fellow beings, there will be no more poverty, he says sadly.
A postman for nearly 30 years, Babu is not a rich man. He is a man who is happy with the income he makes. He is a man who finds time and money, to raise his head above his own shelf of problems and have an eye and ear for another’s woes. What Babu has, and many others do not, is a heart to feel for another and a hand to lend to the woebegone.
- Cris Seetha