India Tales: serve cows to earn bail, learn English from Pagal baba
Deep inside the forests of Pindwara, Rajasthan, even the sight of a school is no less than a miracle.
Yet, in Sivera village, every child speaks impeccable English. No thanks to our education system. It is, in fact, the 'kripa' of one Pagal baba.
The baba is on a mission to teach tribal students English and Maths. He spends whatever money he has on his pupils, even buying clothes and books for them. Himself, he lives in a cave.
Interestingly, the baba himself never went to school, and that partly drives his missionary zeal.
[twittable]Pagal baba spends all he has on his pupils, even buying clothes for them. Himself, he lives in a cave[/twittable]
How then did he learn what he teaches? Some years ago, he met a priest from South India. The baba was so impressed with his English-speaking prowess that he decided to learn the language himself.
He bought some books and became his own teacher. Now, he teaches children from Class 1 to Class 10.
Oh, about the name: He owes it to a madman in his company. Born in Uttar Pradesh, Pagal baba left home when he was 14. While loitering somewhere along the banks of Narmada, he met a mentally-unsound person named Manu.
People called him Manu Pagal and soon, they started calling his companion Pagal baba. Baba accepted the title graciously.
If only the "sane" babas engaged in rable-rousing, foul-mouthing and ghar wapsi could learn.
The public's perception of them may not be kind, but those wearing the khaki are capable of empathy. As Gulab Minj showed on 3 August.
The head constable was on her way to work at Maharaja Bada police station in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, when she heard the cries of Pooja, a ragpicker.
Pooja was in labour, lying by the road and there was nobody around to care for her.
Gulab gathered some passersby and got down to help Pooja deliver. Pooja though wasn't lactating and the condition of her baby was worsening by the minute. So, the policewoman breastfed the newborn.
[twittable]Gulab Minj not only helped Pooja deliver her baby, she also breastfed the newborn[/twittable]
By then an ambulance was called and Pooja and her child were rushed to the Kamlaraja Hospital. Gulab stayed with them the entire time.
The mother and her baby are now recuperating.
An impressed Gwalior S P Hari Narayanchari says the police "will give an award to the head constable". "Her gesture will instil the public's confidence in other police personnel."
Kaluram Soni was arrested for burning over a dozen cows with acid, and his case reached the Rajasthan High Court.
The court let him out on bail, on one condition: that he serve cows for 3 hours a day for three months. If he doesn't, the bail will stand cancelled.
[twittable]In April, Soni threw acid on 18 cows, one of whom died. Now he must serve cows for 3 hours everyday[/twittable]
Soni, a resident of Hanumangarh district, may well do as ordered, if his recent behaviour is any indication.
The court had earlier ordered him to provide a truck-full of fodder at a cowshed. He did.
Indeed, his compliance with the previous order was played up by his lawyer while pleading for bail.
According to public prosecutor Ashok Upadhyay, in April this year, Soni had thrown acid on as many as 18 cows, one of whom later died from the burns.