Gurmeet Singh, a Patna-based businessman who has been spending most of his time taking care of abandoned patients in the Patna Medical College and Hospital for the past 20 years, will receive the World Sikh Award in London. This will be the first time in 13 years that Gurmeet, who is in his sixties, will step out of Bihar. Every day, he visits abandoned patients in the hospital and provides them with food, medicines and other required supplies.
Gurmeet runs a garment shop in Chiraiyatand. He was inspired to help patients after a woman selling plastic bags came up to his shop one day with a baby in her arms. The child’s skin was burnt. Gurmeet rushed them to the Patna hospital but was told that the doctors were on strike and there was nobody to attend to the baby. This was when he realised that underprivileged people who have no one to look after them or those who have been abandoned by their families are worst affected in such situations. He decided to start helping them himself.
The Sikh Directory, which is an international organisation, recognised his work and he was selected as the winner from among 100 entries from across the world.
Picture for representation only. Image Source: Facebook
In Bihar’s largest government hospital, more than eleven patients wait for Gurmeet to show up at around 9 pm every night. He buys food and sweets on his way to the hospital and distributes all of it among the patients. He goes through their prescriptions too and purchases medicines that they can’t afford.
Gurmeet has donated blood for such patients many times despite being told by doctors that it could lead to severe health complications. He is of the opinion that nothing has changed in the hospital over the past twenty years with regards to it providing better facilities, but this has never deterred him from caring for the needy.
And he is not alone. His son and relatives regularly donate blood as well. “There is a donation box in our house. Our family of five brothers put away 10 per cent of our monthly earnings in it. Our children do not celebrate birthdays or burst crackers during Diwali,” he told The Hindu.
Apart from receiving this prestigious award under the “Sikhs in Seva” category, he will also be awarded the Prerna Doot (Inspiring Messenger) award in Bihar.