“It’s easier to take than to give. It’s nobler to give than to take. The thrill of taking lasts a day. The thrill of giving lasts a lifetime.”
― Joan Marques

                                      In this material world of today, when people are leaving no opportunity to grab more and more money, amassing wealth has become the order of the day. Most people don’t think of charity, and the very few who are inclined towards it, prefer to wait for the day when their own needs will be fulfilled, and they can spare some money to help others, and sure enough that blessed day never comes.

                                It is my privilege to present before you Shri Arvind Saha, who runs a makeshift tea stall from a tin shed located in ‘Orna”camp of ‘Aarawal ‘village, about five kilometers from Jagdalpur(CG).The identity of an ordinary man like him would have been lost in wilderness, had it not been for his noble act. He has done what even millionaires would not do easily. He collected his life time savings amounting to Rs one lakh and fifty thousand and donated the whole of it for the poor and needy children. Such a selfless act has made him larger than life.

chai wala donation

Arvind Saha in front of his tea stall

Arvind is a school dropout. He could not study beyond class VIII, because he had to attend to his ailing father who was an asthmatic patient. His desire of completing his education could not be fulfilled, which has always been a sore point in his life. Financial constraints forced him to start earning at a young age. He got married early but his wife could not bear children, inspite of all medical treatment. He is full of praise for her. After her demise, Arvind remarried and now has a two year old daughter. In response to a question about securing the future of his daughter, Arvind said “as I am helping others, God will help and protect her. Moreover I have taken a LIC policy in her name for which I am paying an annual premium of Rs 30,000”

His tea stall happens to be near a government school run by the department of tribal welfare. Driven by compassion, Arvind has been giving free tea and snacks to the poor children, passing in front of his shop to go to school. Once he learnt that Shri Jain the earlier Principal had donated Rs 50,000 for the poor students, and another Good Samaritan had donated school uniforms to some children. He nurtured the idea of donating something for the poor and needy children, but was hesitant as he did not know whom to approach in this matter. Once he shared the idea with a school teacher who happened to visit his tea stall. The teacher thought he was joking. He thought that this ordinary tea vendor may donate about Rs 5000 or so. But he couldn’t believe his eyes, when Arvind took out a bundle of Rs 50,000 and offered to him for giving to the Principal.

When the news reached the Principal, he invited him as a special guest for the Republic Day function on 26 Jan 2014.The entire school was in for a pleasant surprise, when Arvind Saha handed over a hefty sum of Rs 1, 50.000 in cash to the Principal Shri AN Rao.The news spread like wild fire up to Jagdalpur and beyond, because such a noble gesture was unheard of. The school has decided to invest the amount in fixed deposit in a bank .The annual interest would be used for providing stationery, uniform and other essential items to poor and needy children, who are not being benefitted by other government schemes.

People like Arvind Saha are angels of God. Talking to him I could feel the saintly glow of his divine personality. He said God had fulfilled all my desires, and I don’t want anything more.”The joy and satisfaction which I have got, by using my hard earned money to help these poor children with is boundless” said a beaming Arvind. He prays daily and is always grateful to God for His blessings. When asked about the importance of money, he said, “money comes and goes, it is not permanent .If I can use it to help the poor and needy, I have served God “What a great philosophy. I bow in reverence to this great man, because he is one in a million! His thoughts and actions have made him eternal. May his tribe increase!

(The above success story is based on the interview of Shri Arvind Saha by Maj Pradeep Khare)