After visiting our friend in a hospital, we decided to go around visiting patients in the district government hospital. By chance we entered the accident-patients’ ward. Pitying their bandaged limbs and the pain they were in, we began talking to some patients. Seeing a poor villager lying on a bed, groaning with pain, we stopped to enquire about his him. While he was returning from the field on his cycle, Mangal Singh explained, he was hit from behind by two drunken bike-riders. They escaped while verbally abusing him. Since it was almost dark, Mangal could hardly recognize the youths’ faces, nor could the illiterate villager read the license plate of the bike.
Seeing him lying helpless on the road, a passerby informed the villagers who helped admit him in the government hospital. His leg bones had cracked. The doctors had recommended surgery. For that he urgently needed three bottles of blood. Mangal explained to us that he had no money to purchase the needed blood, nor could his poverty-stricken family find any help. “I don’t know how my wife is managing the family!” he sighed.
His elderly father daily brought him simple home-cooked food every morning, cycling some 12 km from their village.
Moved at his plight, Khan suggested, “Friends, I think we can organize blood for him in our hostel.”
“What is your blood group?” he asked Mangal Singh, whose head was downcast.
“AB+” said the card on his bed.
“Alright,” Khan said, “we will get back to you soon.” And we left.
After obtaining the due permission from our warden, we briefed our college hostel students about the sad story of the villager. “Mangal Singh urgently needs three bottles of AB+ blood. Unless he makes the blood available, the doctors cannot proceed with the surgery. Is anyone willing to donate?” asked Kuldeep.
Surprisingly six hands went up. “God has blessed us with blood. Once we give, He gives it back. We don’t lose anything. But we save a life,” the philosophical Francis replied.
Next morning when we gathered for our first lecture, many of our classmates met us to offer their money for Mangal Singh. Vikram had messaged the story of Mangal Singh with his photo to all our classmates via WhatsApp.
With our six blood donors and the money offered by our friends, we reached the hospital in the evening. We told the doctors that our blood can be used for Mangal or freely offered to other patients if he didn’t require it.
We offered all the donated money to his wife. The woman, covering her head with sari, had come from their village that day with her four kids, who looked at us with great awe and love.
After a month or so, as we were playing cricket in our ground, we were surprised to see a band of villagers entering our hostel campus. We recognized easily the kids in their village school uniforms. Before returning to their village next morning, the recuperating Mangal Sigh led his family to pay his respects to us. As each one of them fell and touched our feet, we were moved to tears. An act of kindness brought life and happiness to a family and great satisfaction and joy to us.