Shiela Binoy

State head of Samarth Charitable Trust, Bal and her team led national news when 354 labourers from Chhattisgarh, stranded in Karnataka due to the corona virus induced-lockdown, reached Raipur by flight. Alumni of the National Law University, Bengaluru and National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), Hyderabad had arranged air travel for these labourers, but according to Manjeet the freedom and ‘Do not disturb’ outlook of the state government helped her team to focus on the Covid humanitarian mission with profound ease. Bal choose to remember her mentors with equal ease. “Ex Chief Secretary Chhattisgarh Govt. Shri Vivek Dhand, Dr. R.K Singh, Director,Thakur Pyarelal Panchayat and Rural Development Institute , she says are the great good people who made her disown the idea of carrying the *** flag of rebellion. “They taught me methodology, instincts and preparedness to counter life and its aftermath. “They taught me to travel the roads less traveled”. Bal names NRHM Director Priyanka Shukla for her timely help in moments of crisis. But she owns her crown to Mrs.Renu Pillay IAS, Chhattisgarh Govt. for her modus operandi; of “imandari, mehnati and spacht vicharo wali…” “I follow her when it comes to work and work alone!” It needs a mention here that Manjeet is a PhD in Human Resources and was Faculty, with Thakur Pyarelal Institute of Panchayat and Rural Development. She is presently a Visiting Faculty/Trainer with Administrative academy Chhattisgarh, and State Police Academy Chhattisgarh.
“Manav seva se bada koi junoon nahi hota”, clarifies Manjeet as she remembers the lock down period with no sense of guilt. “Had I not administered the courage to help those travelling long to reach their homes, I believe I would have died of guilt. The lock down was to sit inside your walls, work from home, denying the deadly virus no entry, but what of the men women old and countless little children braving odds to be within their walls, walking tirelessly under the scorching sun” questions Bal, as she asserts to the fact that every human feels pain and hunger. Recounting the story further Bal remembers distinctively the sudden decision, which she took to hit the highways with her core team of 25 to ease the sufferings of many walking endlessly. “Gandhi cannot come back, we need more Ghandi’s to battle the sudden disappearance of empathy”, says Bal, whose frail figure was a collective strength for many – volunteers, humanist, activist and the travellers themselves. Starting from scratch, Bal recounts the horror of seeing men, pregnant women and little kids being stuffed into trucks as cattle. ‘I tried my best to stop the inhuman practice, but as ears turned deaf, all that I could do is sitting in mid of the road”. “Manjeet is on dharna on the road”, went a burst in social media. The CM intervened; and all good happened. We asked schools to provide busses. The RTO, local authorities’ district administration all stood by us. To monitor the situation we walked towards Kumhari, from Tatiband Chowk to count heads, the fear of the team turned true, innumerable were pouring in. The shelter house at Labandi, was stuffed, resources were running out. Problems came pouring in, but the answers to these problems came – through the clouds, and from under the grounds. There was no water. I asked Raipur city for 20,000 bottles, but we were given 40,000. We asked the city for milk, there was a flood. Humanity and humility were bred together that season. The migrants needed instant energy, I asked for packets of Parle G biscuits, and there came a truck load all the way from Mumbai, we are still unaware how the truck reached to our rescue. A Good Samaritan from Aarang gave me Rs.50, 000 for diesel, he remains unknown till date. There were many such, who denied to be given a name. The labourers, still struggling for a day’s square meal made us more humane by denying the second helpings of food and milk. It was a life time of ‘being human’ in just 60 days!
Standing at 2AM on the highway, fearless and safe was all that I earned in this tenure of the present government. But it’s a earning of a life time for a woman. Imagine nothing to fear! That’s joy abound. Pressing on the 4 formulae’s of life, Bal confirms, these 4 formulae’s lightens, brightens and strengthens. She names the formulae as one which is free of personal fear, one which is enveloped of good relations, one which has you standing for the human race, and the one which allows you to talk to nature freely.

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