The Story of the Grand old man of Jammu: Offering water to travellers for 12 long years
The summers accompanied with scorching heat have already invaded our homes. Everyone has found a refuge in their air-conditioned office cubicles and living rooms. So have the markets flooded with a variety of beverages that come in bizarre flavours to circumvent the added preservatives and chemical ingredients that essentially compose it, packed in attractive colours and appropriate sizes for a price. We buy it, prefer soft drink over water, isn’t it?
Anyway, indifferent from the worldly matters, there’s a man in Jammu who has been offering drinking water to the passersby for over 12 years!
Meet Ameer Singh, a resident of Gho Manhasan in Jammu has been serving sheetal jal to the pedestrians at a small spot located at the Paloura side on Akhnoor Road. Born in Poonch region that now lies in Pakistan, Ameer Singh is nearing an age of 100 years. He has consistently been serving water to passerby since 2005 for no apparent reason, but with a certain belief to offer his social service to the people in his capability.
Sounds impossible? In the post-modern era of 21st century, who has even time for stuff like that. We just spent a thousand crore rupees on a recent film. Extending a helping hand for the benefit of people is something that has no space in our consciousness. Because we are not humans, we are trendsetters.
Ameer Singh’s story takes us back in a completely different set of the world. He told U4UVoice that he was 12 years old when he was orphaned. He did not even see his mother. His father died when he was twelve. He fled Pakistan after the 1965 Indo-Pak War and settled in Jammu.
Ameer Singh told us that he’s unmarried. “I did not marry, neither did I ever see my mother”, he said. He lives in Gho Manahasa and travels all the way to Paloura, at least 15 Kms every day so that he can fulfil his duty to serve drinking water to the needy.
A lot of us often think that social service is possible only when rich. A lot of us also think that it is the work of NGOs and similar organisations. And a fraction of us is so busy driving through life that we hardly notice what we pass through. We fail to appreciate the beauty, but we are amazed at the deceiving advertisements of objects for sale. All these assumptions which give way for ignorance are manifested in our society, which has taken a ruthless form where each person remains indifferent from each other. A simple, small gesture to mankind fills one’s heart with happiness. For instance, keeping a small vessel with water on the roof for the thirsty birds during summers or giving water-filled recycled plastic bottles to the homeless doesn’t harm your bank balance.