In a rare gesture to honour marginalised people who are doing exemplary work despite adversities during the pandemic lockdown, RC Bolpur-Santinektan, RID 3240, feted three social workers — a cobbler, tree cutter and newspapers picker — who have been doing vocational service for paltry amounts without any recognition or reward.
During the installation of the club, which is celebrating its golden jubilee, the three individuals were felicitated by RID 3240 leaders. “We have taken this initiative to honour these marginal persons to bring into limelight the silent social workers who are mostly neglected by others. They do not have any holiday or rest in life, rather they have to work hard through the year to earn and feed their families,” said Dr Biswadeb Chatterjee, club president.
Nepal Das, a cobbler, learnt his trade from his father at the age of 10. Over the last 50 years, he is a common face at a prominent junction in Bolpur as he sits on a corner stitching and repairing shoes, leather bags, umbrella etc.
He is assisted by his elder son Dinesh, who had passed Class 10 and brother Kalu in the work. On an average, Das earns ₹250–300 a day. His younger son Ganesh has got admitted to M Ed in Vivekananda University at Belur. Das had got his three daughters married and built a house with the help of a government scheme. The club sponsored his cataract operation at an eye camp four years back. He was feted by PDG Dr Rintu Guha Niyogi at the installation.
Tree cutter College Bagdi, 52, is a resident of Datina village at Nanur block and belongs to a family of daily wage labourers. He cuts, prunes outgrown trees and sells fruits as part of his vocation. He climbs tall trees with ease to remove the obstructing branches and his services are sought by many families. Besides cutting trees, he also takes up odd jobs as daily wage earner during monsoon. While his three daughters were married, his son helps him in his vocation. Bagdi was felicitated by past district secretary Subir Roy.
Raddiwala Robu Khan, 40, makes daily rounds in his bicycle at Sansad village to collect old newspapers, discarded iron material, tin, plastic goods and other scrap items to make a living.
For the last 25 years, he has been doing this work to sustain his family. Robu had started this work at the age of 16 following his father’s death to support his family. Even with this meagre work, Robu gave good education to all his three children, one daughter and two sons. While his daughter was married to a groom from a family doing real estate business, the elder son is studying at a Bolpur college. The younger son is in Class 11.
Robu nurtures a dream to have his own house. “A very honest and greedless person, Robu works hard almost the entire day from dawn to dusk,” says Chatterjee. He was felicitated by AG Dr Asim Kanti Adhikary.
Corona doctors of Solapur
On the first day of the new Rotary year, July 1, RC Solapur MIDC, RID 3132, felicitated the doctors, paramedics, admin staff and other members of the specially formed Corona Ward at Shri Markandey Solapur Sahakari Rugnalaya and Research Centre with Rotary Corona Warrior Awards.
The club has instituted the award to recognise “the brave corona warriors for their dedicated and untiring service towards corona patients.” The hospital Chairman Dr Manik Gurram and Vice-Chairman Tirupati Vidap presented the awards in the presence of Dr Vijaykumar Arkal, Rtns Dr Ravindra Gundeli, Dr Gore and other members of the club. In his speech, Dr Gurram appreciated the work of medical warriors and the social initiative of Rotary club to honour the frontline workers against the pandemic.
Club president Vitthal Vanga anchored the event held on the hospital premises. Rtns Buchayya Gundeti, Shriniwas Ittam, Parshuram Rapelli and Sunny Daulatabad took efforts to make the awards ceremony a successful event.