I belong to BAPS, it’s a non-profit, religious organization working in the areas of spiritual awareness, social upliftment and global peace. I’m a volunteer i.e. unlike someone who goes to the temple for praying to God, I usually end up doing some voluntary services e.g. I handle the parking department and every Sunday at 4:30 I stand at my spot to prevent visitors from doing illegal parking of vehicles.
A few days back, we had to do the packaging of relief material for Uttarakhand, and hence I was there on Saturday evening. The material was divided into two sections: edible material like oil, spices, cereals, pulses, etc. and non-edible material like stove, raincoats, etc. The material was packed into a zippered waterproof bag, representing a “kit”. The edible items’ bag was some 28 kg, whereas the other bag was 9 kg, so in all a family would get total 37 kg of material.
Today I got a call again. We needed to transfer the packed material in the train.
Now I believe, pictures are louder than words. And yes, I have got not much power to write. We transferred almost 37 tonnes of relief material to the train, which was govt. job anyway. But then we had to make sure that the kits reach the right people and not idiots around.
Let the photos tell you the rest of the story. These were really low-light images so kindly bear with the quality.
After a 6 hour long effort, we had finally transferred 37 tonnes or 37000 kgs of material from the temple to the trains. We were almost 100 people by the end of it. If we calculate the amount of effort put in, based on Rs. 100/hour standard rate, it ends up as Rs. 10000/hour, or around 50,000 rupees, that we saved yesterday, by doing the voluntary work.
Ending note: We were returning back in one of the large trucks which was essentially a freezing chamber. The cleaner of the truck was with us, too. “These trucks are sent by Yusufbhai for voluntary service”, he said. I smiled, and he didn’t understand. Yes, we live in Gujarat.