Mrunal Manmay Dash

Service to mankind is service to God. This is not just a saying written on the walls of a school building, in fact, this is a life rule which has been embedded in the daily routine of Dibyasingh Sahu.

A small-time hotel owner, Sahu, fondly known as Gagan Bhai runs his business in Nayapalli area in Bhubaneswar in a thatched hotel. While he goes about doing his business in the day, when night dawns, Gagan Bhai can be seen riding his moped with food packets in his bag. No, he does not head home after closing his hotel and refrigerate the leftover food to sell it in his hotel the next day, but he heads straight to the poor and homeless to distribute the food among them.

He packs 10 meals of rice, dal, curry and other fries left over from the day’s business and makes sure at least 10 homeless do not sleep hungry in the night. This is his routine and he makes sure he does it every day, be it the windy nights of summer, wet evenings of September or the chilly darkness of the winter.

In fact, he is so dedicated to serve the poor that he cooks some rice and dal in the night for them if no food is left after selling to the customers.

Asked about the food distribution, Gagan said, “I pack the leftover food and distribute them among the destitute at night. Income should not be a yardstick to do charity. People should have proper motivation and empathy to do good for the poor. I think everybody should do some charity irrespective of their earnings.”

“I do not refrigerate leftover food to serve it to customers the next day. Instead, I distribute it among the poor so that I can get some valuable blessings from them,” Gagan said.

“I love spending for other people with whatever income I generate from this small hotel. I want to do more and become a full-time social worker but it needs a lot of money. Maybe, one day when I earn more, I will give food to more people,” Gagan added.

At a time when people get reluctant to spend even a penny for a stranger, Gagan’s charity is a silver lining that says yes, humanity still exists. There are people like Gagan who play key roles in making sure that it remains that way and does not go extinct.