Raghu Makwana – Victim of Polio who provides food for free of cost to the poor daily
Raghu Makwana is a true compassion and kindness warrior. His work operates on many levels- from the actual service he does in the slums of Ahmedabad, India to the deeper, heart-to-heart connections he is able to catalyze in people all over the world.
As a child of 6 months, Raghu lost the use of both his legs to the Polio virus and was dependent on his parents for a majority of his life in the village. To start supporting himself, he headed to the city of Ahmedabad at the age of 19, where various serendipitous incidents led him to meet the people at the Gramshree Trust for Women’s empowerment. Working with the underprivileged women of the slums, Raghu came across several aged women living alone, battling life’s several challenges.
Now, through the Tyaag Nu Tiffin project, and with the support of Service Space, an international community of volunteers, every day Raghu visits a slum community in Ahmedabad to share lunch and dinner with fifteen old, disabled women who live alone and are unable to cook meals for themselves. Raghu and the Service Space community have also developed an international circle of people who are connected to these women and to Raghu’s work through skipping meals occasionally or making other humble sacrifices as an offering and as a way to contribute to the spirit of the project.
Raghu explains, “Through interactions between these women and the people who support me, I hope to connect hearts from diverse backgrounds. By sharing small stories of love I intend to bring a transformation through compassion. Through food, I have witnessed people from the richest localities in the world connecting with some of the most underprivileged women in the slums.”
Tulsi Project – Whenever Raghu heard about a dispute in any family, he would simply go there and gift them a Tulsi plant. The attempt was to show people a way to resolve the family differences in a peaceful manner and spread love instead of hatred. The project received an overwhelming response from philanthropists who extended their support towards Raghu’s initiative. Till date, he has distributed over 600 Tulsi plants in various houses in Ahmedabad.
Raghu is an example to follow for all. Having lost his legs in his childhood due to polio and brought up in a slum area of Ahmedabad, Raghu had every reason to live an average life in a wheelchair.
Afterwards, Raghu took up another initiative – Tyaag nu Tiffin (Food sacrifice) – which aimed to help the underprivileged. The idea was to deliver home-cooked meals to people living on the streets. Initially, the financial aspect held him back but he quickly received funding and the plan was put into action. Once the word spread about the initiative, monetary and non-monetary help started pouring in from all directions – from NGOs to individuals to NRIs. Today, Raghu distributes about 14 tiffins daily to needy people.
“I’m not doing anything great. I’m not on a mission to change the world. God has been very kind to me in my struggle to survive. Now it is my turn to repay the kindness by helping other needy human beings. I have received help from several people who came to know about my tiffin service,” said Makwana.
Raghu Makwana recently got support from two NGOs, Yuva Unstoppable and Gramshree
Spice Jet donated an entire plane for that whole group of those slum children and young adults, including Raghu, to “fly in the air”. The popular Miss India received them at the airport, personally chatted with Raghu about life in the slums, as they were all gifted a royal tour of a big city. Even more recently, when Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the former president of India, was giving a talk, he was so inspired by Raghu that he not only invited him on stage but also opened his talk with: “When I asked Raghu what is your dream in life, he said only one thing: ‘I want to see the women of India and their children smile.’
We send daily many emails and forward messages to our friends.. why cant we share this. Raghu Makwana should be recognized for his immense contribution to the poor. Hats-off Mr.Raghu Makwana
Content Source : thepollinationproject.org ,TOI and allindiadaily.com
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