(Image source from: Oneindia)
There are not a lot of souls around in our country who have a heart of compassion, nevertheless, 69-year-old Alag Natarajan is one from the noble minority.
The former Non-Resident Indian (NRI) who lived in London for about three decades intended to do a bit for the people on his comeback. One thing that caught his eyes is that people who spend most of their time on the roads do not get the minimum necessity of water to slake their thirst.
According to a report in Inuth.com, Natarajan, a resident of South Delhi, started setting up water coolers around his locality to meet people's needs. He installed 10 coolers at different locations, starting from his own residence in Panchsheel Park. But immediately, he grasped that no one was keen to fill water in those coolers. There was as well the difficulty of getting an electric connection to run the devices.
"It has been four years now including the cooler maybe five years. When I started, I installed 10 coolers in different parts of Delhi but half of them I have to bring back because people had no respect for it. Each cooler cost me Rs 25,000," he was quoted as saying by Inuth.
The man did not lose trust, however. He switched to a low-priced substitute - earthern pots of 'matkas'. He placed around 80 of them in different areas and on a daily basis, at around 4 a.m., he takes out his water van to fill them.
Natarajan, however, does not charge money for his social service. Now and then, people donate money for his hard work, but his financial support comes mostly from his pension in London. His family too supports him. One 'matka' costs him Rs 350, he said.
In addition to serving water, the veteran as well provides breakfast to security guards, laborers, and drivers and at the present, he has started making the foodstuff (idli) besides serving cucumbers and bananas. He has as well put up self-help cycle pumps in different areas to promote cycling.