He is a 17 year old, deaf and dumb since birth, but his strokes on canvas with just a pencil speak volume of his caliber. He communicates through his art and is extremely fond of computers. Satyajit Biwas’s immense potential was spotted by not an islander, but a resident of Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh, thousands of kilometers away from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manjeet Singh for whom serving monthly langar (community meal) to poor rickshaw pullers and destitutes has become a mission.
Manjeet Singh met Satyajit, son of Prakash Biswas, resident of Kala Pather, Vijay Nagar, Havelock last year when he was on a holiday trip to these islands. “I was amazed to notice this god-gifted boy and his potential as an artist. After interacting with him, I realized his passion for computers and that’s when I decided to sponsor him a course in computers. I asked his father to get him admitted. After one year, I am back to meet Satyajit and gift him a Laptop,” says Manjeet speaking to this Correspondent after his arrival at the Veer Savarkar International Airport here on Wednesday.
“I could have provided the money then itself, but wanted to ensure that the funding is utilized for the intended purpose. The only message I want to convey to the islanders is to be benevolent and come forward to help the needy sections of the society. Had a person from these islands had come forward to support Satyajit, assistance from people residing several kilometers away in mainland would not be required? People from the society, who are blessed with good financial resources should also be empathetic to the deprived,” said Manjeet.
“My son is deaf and dumb from childhood, but all these years no one came forward to support my son. It was Manjeet ji finally, who during his visit last year, assured to support my child. My family will remain ever grateful to him,” said Prakash Biswas, father of Satyajit.
Singh’s inspiration to do something for the poor came in 2015 when he says he got a “calling from the Almighty to do something for humanity.” He arranges food for the poor through a langar twice in a month and bears the entire expense incurred that come to about Rs.32, 000 to Rs.35,000 with around 1,500 people mainly paddle rickshaw pullers taking the meals. On the day of the langar, Singh can be seen inviting the rickshaw pullers on the move to have a meal at the special camp (Guru Nanak Dev’s Kitchen) set up on the busy street of Golghar. Locals, mostly Sikh youth, volunteer to help in the langar service.
“Serving food to the hungry gives me satisfaction. By having a meal at the langar, a rickshaw puller saves about Rs 30 to 40, the amount he would have had to spend on purchasing a meal from the market,” says Manjeet, whose father settled in Gorakhpur after migrating from Kashmir in the early 1930s and established a business.