Every night at 9 PM, Gurmeet Singh arrives at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) to serve food and provide medicines to patients at the so-called abandoned or ‘lawaaris’ ward. An owner of a small garment shop in Patna, buys food packets from a roadside eatery and serves food to the waiting patients at PMCH.
He has been doing this since 1992 when the sight of unattended patients in pain at the city’s largest hospital compelled him to visit them every night with dinner. He not only feeds the patients but also washes the bowls as well as enquires about the patients’ physical and mental health. He has also donated blood in the past but now that he has turned 60, the doctors advise against doing that. He is quite active in the Patna hospital premises as he also keeps a check on the patients’ health and informs the doctors if the patients need urgent attention.
He follows the practice of Dasvandh in Sikhism which urges its followers to set aside 10% of their earnings for the poor in the name of the Guru. He told The Hindu,
“There is a donation box in our house. Our family of five brothers put away 10 percent of our monthly earnings in it. Our children do not celebrate birthdays or burst crackers during Diwali.”
For his selfless service, he received the World Sikh Award in 2016.