Jeewan Community member Vikas with an ailing senior citizen in Ranchi. Telegraph picture
They are good Samaritans turning up to help the sick and ailing anywhere and everywhere. Yet, they are no doctors.
Meet Jeewan Community, a growing group of 55 students from BIT-Mesra, Ranchi College, Marwari College and Gossner College, who help out the poor and the unlettered from villages in getting medical aid in capital hospitals. Apart from getting needy patients admitted to the heal hubs, these students — aged between 18 and 21 — also make them aware of government schemes that can ensure free treatment, donate blood, arrange medicines and at times, also double up as attendants.
What’s most remarkable about this community is that they work as a close-knit family, standing in for each other. If one member, with information about a patient in need, is unable to rush to the concerned hospital due to classes, another one is ready to fill in.
“That’s why we are Jeewan Community,” said Mahesh Kumar, a second-year BPharma student of BIT-Mesra. “Our one-point mission is to reach out to the needy,” he added.
What brought all of them on the same page.
Mahesh explained that their journey started from August 12, 2013, when one of them saw a newspaper appeal about a girl in need of A+ blood.
“The girl was at RIMS and we were shocked to read that one of her legs would have to be amputated if four units of blood were not arranged. We rushed to RIMS the very next day. But by the time we reached, some kind people had already come to the girl’s rescue.
“But then, we saw an aged couple crying as they didn’t know how to arrange for blood for their ailing granddaughter. They had no money to buy blood. We showed our donor cards and gave blood. This incident prompted us to form the community,” Mahesh added.
On how students of other colleges became a part of the group, Mahesh said it was word of mouth that got like-minded folks together. The first batch of members were friends. Those who joined later were either their friends or other students with interest in social service.
Shubham, another member, said that till last year, they had mostly catered to those admitted at RIMS. “Recently, we tendered our services to some children who were admitted to Dev Kamal Hospital for cleft lip surgery.”
The group is planning to reach out to more people. “An institute for differently-abled children on Ratu Road has called us to discuss how we can extend our philanthropic services to them. But as we are busy with examinations now, we have promised to meet them after Holi,” said Rajesh Prasad, a community member from Marwari College.
How do they juggle their busy schedule with social service?
“We visit the hospitals every Saturday to meet patients. If any important work comes up on weekdays, two or three volunteers with less important classes take care of it,” added Nishant Jaiswal, also from Marwari College.
Any plans for the future? “We aim to complete our studies first while continuing to extend our services,” Mahesh said.
Sambhu Das (65) of Gumla, one of the beneficiaries of the students’ philanthropy, was all praises. “I will always remember the boys. Suffering from jaundice and typhoid, I had no money to buy medicines at RIMS. They appeared from nowhere like a messiah and bailed me out. My blessings will always be with them,” he said.
Director of RIMS Tulsi Mahto lauded the young social workers. “I have not seen the students but heard that they help patients. Such acts should be welcomed,” he said.