Once forced to beg due to circumstances, now inspires others to give up begging: (Shravan Singh)
Shravan was born in a low-caste family in Lucknow; his parents used to
sell vegetables. Shravan had 3 sisters and 2 brothers. Their parents
died when Shravan was around 10 years of age. His married sister then
took him away to her in-laws’, where Shravan and his brother were
ruthlessly made to work in the fields. Frustrated, they ran away to
Lucknow and started selling water bottles at a railway station to earn
a living. But the struggle of living, coupled with the loss of family
made a deep mental impact on Shravan. As a result, he came under bad
influence and got addicted to harmful intoxicants. The mental trauma
and the effect of the intoxicant substances took a toll on his health
and ability to work; his body had started giving up.
Then he came to know that food and money were being distributed to the
needy at a nearby temple. In a completely helpless situation, he went
there to get some help. Gradually he completely became dependent on
alms and donations and his body lost all the energy to work or even
move around. Approximately around that time, in 2015, Shravan Singh
met Sharad at the Hanuman Setu temple.
“Since the age of 10, my days were spent on the footpath. The police
would shoo us away. It was Sharad bhaiya and Mahendra bhaiya who
took me to a hospital where I was diagnosed with pancytopenia. My
blood was at a level of 3.1. But at present, I am completely cured;
these days I had been earning a living by selling lemon tea, water and
other soft drinks. Doing this, I had been saving around Rs. 250 a day.
But presently I have been doing the cleaning of the organization’s
rehabilitation centres which fetches me Rs 6000 monthly.
Folding his hands into a Namaste, 34-year old Shravan Singh smilingly
says “ Now, social service is an important part of my life, I extend
as much help as I can. If I can provide water to a thirsty man or can
take a needy person to a hospital, that really feels like a great
For people like Shravan, Sharad is no less than God. “If it weren’t
for him, I would not have been alive today,” Shravan says, in a tone