Covid Crisis: Compassion, Generosity and Honesty- Need of the Hour

Article by Jacob Peenikaparambil: India is going through harrowing times due to the unprecedented spread of the second wave of Coronavirus that resulted in lack of hospital beds, medical oxygen and essential medicines.  Indeed, it is an alarming situation and a medical emergency. Against this backdrop three inspiring examples of compassion, generosity and honesty that were reported in the media recently deserve the appreciation by all.

The first one is the decision of a railway points man Mayur Shelke to donate a share of his award money to the very child he had saved in a miraculous way. Shelke took social media by storm earlier this week after a surveillance video shared by Indian Railways, which showed him running towards an incoming train, went viral. Without any hesitation Shelke plunged into action and rescued the six-year-old boy by lifting him onto the platform seconds before a train arrived at Vangani station in Thane district.

The Central Railway’s Divisional Manager and staff rewarded him with Rs. 50,000. Mayur Shelke announced that he would donate half of the money to the boy because he came to know that the child’s family is not financially strong.

The second example is a beedi worker from Kannur, Mr. Janardhanan who has donated Rs 2 lakh to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) in Kerala, leaving just Rs 850 in his bank account. Incidentally he is a hearing-impaired person.  He did not even want anyone to know that he contributed the amount.

The third example is related to honesty. A 19-year-old rag picker Mariammal in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, returned a purse with more than Rs. 50,000/- and a smartphone to a police officer. She had found it in a dump. Superintendent of Police N. Manivanan felicitated the girl for her honesty. As per the media reports, the girl belongs to Kattu Naiker, an impoverished nomadic tribe. She does not earn a day more than Rs. 300/- from her rag picking work.

Because of the extraordinary spread of the second wage of coronavirus the health care system in India is crumbling. Hospital heads, doctors and the government functionaries are confused in dealing with the alarming situation. This situation requires compassion from all, especially our Prime Minister, Chief Ministers and other ministers. They have to be on the forefront to help the people, setting aside all other concerns including electioneering. Compassion is to be exhibited in avoiding religious and social ceremonies.

Secondly, this is the time for the people of India to show their generosity by sharing their resources with the needy. The states, instead of fighting with each other, have to come to a consensus on the distribution of medical oxygen and essential medicines.

Thirdly, the central and state governments have to be honest in sharing the data about Covid 19 infection and death with the public. The public has a right to know the truth. It was reported in the media that some state governments are underreporting the number of deaths due to Coronavirus. On 17th April, the Gujarat High Court asked the state government to come out with correct figures of Covid 19 patients and deaths in the pandemic and insisted that the government should be honest and transparent in its dialogue with the public.  

The need of the hour is compassion. Let millions of people who are infected and affected by Covid 19 experience compassion abundantly! Let us be compassionate and generous because God is compassionate and generous. What God wants is not expensive rituals and opulent worship centres but love and compassion for the sick, the needy and the poor.-


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