In an age when people are increasingly becoming selfish, a group of youngsters in Pune, pursuing engineering and MBA, performed on streets for three consecutive days to raise money so that the father of one of their friends could get medical treatment.
The father of their friend, Bhupendra Shingade (22), had met an accident on 3 October.
One of the group members would appeal to people to “donate to save one’s life. Your single penny will save a life” throughout the campaign.
Abhijeet Kure (22) said that one of his friends received a call from Bhupendra on 3 October, saying that his father Narendra (50) had met an accident with a bus near Wakad.
Narendra, a clerk in a reputed firm, was admitted to the ICU in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Doctors said he had sustained multiple head and facial injuries (faciomaxillary).
In just four days, the medical bill of Narendra rose to a few lakhs of rupees. So Shingade decided to shift Narendra to the Sassoon General Hospital, a government hospital.
Kure said, “Bhupendra is our school friend and we have known each other for over a decade. On 3 October, we received a call from him informing us about his father’s accident. He told us that his father was unconscious and was admitted to the ICU. He later told us that since the family could no longer afford to pay the hospital bill, they were shifting him to a government hospital.”
“He is yet to clear previous bills amounting to Rs 6 lakh and is currently burdened with the responsibility of paying for the ongoing treatment as well. Though we all chipped in, the amount collected wasn’t much. We even circulated details of his father’s condition among friends and relatives, hoping they would help. But the response we received was poor.”
Kure continued, “It was Aniket Airekar, one of our group members, who came up with the idea of street performances to raise funds.”
Another member of the group, Ankit Airekar, said, “Street performers are widely appreciated in the West and make a good deal of money through their
acts. I immediately contacted our common friend Shashi Kumar Shetty, a dancer and hip-hop instructor. He immediately agreed to perform without charging any money. In the past three days, we managed to collect Rs 23,000 by performing at various locations on Fergusson College Road and Jangali Maharaj Road.”
“Despite heavy rains we performed and the crowd appreciated our performances. We mostly targeted areas where youngsters hangout after college. We know that the amount collected isn’t much, but it will at least help Bhupendra take care of his father’s medicines. It is a small gesture on our part to show how much he means to us.”
Bhupendra said that he couldn’t thank his friends enough. “I have no words to express my gratitude towards my friends. I just hope my father recovers soon.”