Abhijit Sonawane from Pune works for the destitute and downtrodden and helps them lead a life of dignity by assisting them with employment
Abhijit Sonawane had a job which paid around Rs 5 lakhs per month. But his dissatisfied heart was searching for ways to repay a beggar couple who helped him during days of despair. This was the beginning of an eventful journey of the ‘doctor for beggars’.
Within three years, he left his job and appeared in front of temples, mosques and wherever beggars were seen. For the past 15 years, Abhijit has been providing free treatment to each one of them. He tries to build a personal relationship with them and eventually make them quit begging. He even helps them find jobs or start a small business in order to lead a life with dignity.
“I was unemployed and used to roam around a temple with an empty stomach. A beggar couple noticed me and started to give me a portion of their food. They even handed me money. When I got a job, I constantly thought of helping them, which led to my present life here,” says Abhijit.
Within no time, the young doctor felt that delivering free service is no way enough to truly help the beggars. Employment would solve their issues and bring dignity to lives. So, he assisted them in finding jobs and setting up their own small enterprises like tailoring or chat shops.
“I feel this is my responsibility because they consider me as their son or grandson. This is also a method to eradicate poverty,” added the doctor.
Abhijit calls the initiative ‘Beggars to Entrepreneurs’ and does most of the work single-handedly. Till date, he has helped around 105 people to get a job and has given a home to 300 adults and 53 kids.
Today, the doctor kickstarts his motorcycle and visits homeless beggars in need of medical help every morning.