(Celebrating the extraordinary acts of kindness shown by the adolescents)
(Shared by Mr. Ruby Nakka)
It was 5:30 PM and I was attending a short phone call and in that duration I had five missed calls from the same number. It is one of our 12th graders – Radhika (we fondly call her Rads) who finished her exams on April 1st, 2016 and had gone home for a short vacation to be with her mother. I returned the call only to find myself in a bigger mess…….that’s what I thought at least.
With exasperating voice, Rads started describing about an elderly woman in night gown, head shaven, is in her village not knowing where she is from but appears to have wandered off. In no time, it was apparent to both of us that she has memory problems. Rads was so moved by this elderly woman’s plight, she gave her a place to sit and didn’t allow her to go any further.
Being about 20 KM away from her, helplessly I gave her a phone number to call but that other person was unavailable till the next day so he advised Rads to keep the elderly woman in her house till then. Rads mother and the entire community threw a fit at that suggestion and started mocking this young lady.
Darkness set in and she wouldn’t stop calling me. Since the elderly woman appears to be having memory loss, I called the Mental Health Center of Christian Medical College but they didn’t have any of their patients missing. I googled and found the number of the nearby state hospital (Adukkamparai Government Medical College) to inquire if any of their patients wandered off. Lady on the other end wouldn’t let me go but called a medical doctor who asked me for all the details which fits the elderly woman they have been looking for. Rads was ecstatic. Doctor requested that she be brought to the emergency room but when I asked Rads she was ready to take her but there are no automobiles in her village to take her.
Sitting helplessly with the frail elderly woman who literally seems to have walked about 10 KM from 5:00 AM, all that Rads heard was her community’s indifference and rebuke. Then, all of a sudden there was this light. A car drove in with a glaring light and asking for Rads. It was that elderly woman’s family which came to take her. Family left the village with profound thankfulness for what Rads had done. Doctor also called and thanked her and Rads rightly made him to talk to her mother who explained to her about how proud she should be of her daughter.
For one last time when she called me that evening, her voice was choking. Not from sadness but with tears of joy. Rads herself didn’t have an easy childhood before she joined the Hope House four years ago. I thought for a minute as to what possibly could have made her this gentle and caring? I couldn’t think of anything other than the environment at the Hope House – Stretch the rules to be right than to follow the book to be righteous.
Rads, my hats off to you girl. You’re my hero. You're a true example and a role model to all the adolescents. You made the right choice in choosing healthcare as your career (she is studying at a premiere medical institution in India called "Christian Medical College" in Vellore.
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