Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Diwali of Enlightenment

Very few vacations are truly memorable in the recent times. This Diwali was !! i have to thank friends who were with me in the Trip and also initiators of it in a way. My friend Mangal Akole wanted his son Aditya to have a good holiday and an useful one at that. At first he thought of going south towards Goa and Karnataka, both of course beautiful places with a rich bounty of nature. It sounded more of a pilgrimage to me when he suggested I join him with his son. I pondered over his suggested route and places .
I came up with a suggestion which then developed into a wonderful trip and a successful one at that.The highlight was the joining in of Makarand Vaidya, an instrumentation engineer but an avid nature and bird lover. As I recall, we visited the 'Lonar' crater which was a historic and amazing site. it was created by the impact of an asteroid or foreign body from the outer space and has quite an importance in astronomical studies. This was the beginning of our journey from Pune to Akola. I wonder why the government does not care for such valuable sites and use them as true tourist places. The facilities around this Crater were quite a dismay.
Our interests were truly kindled by seeing what lay in front of us. So few know the importance and the value of the place and its history which goes back thousands of years.....
The next place we camped at was a hill station in the Satpudas, namely "Chikhaldara". we were pleasantly surprised that in 2006 it had actually snowed there.This place has the historical Gawilgad Fort and a wild sanctuary around it wherein there are Tigers,Bears,Bison(Indian version -Gaur), Deer,Sambhars,etc......It is a part of the Melghat region and a place worth visiting in winter.The jungles are very attractive with the Flora and Fauna.It was luckily the season for "Oranges" which were available in abundance.
A visit to Amravati city, it's Goddess "Ambabai" led us to Hinganghat for a visit to the Famous and century old 'Mohta Mills'. We ended that day at A lovely and most unlikely wonder of Hemalkasa.Here we had an experience of our lifetime.'Missionary Dedication' in the form of Dr Prakash Amte and family.
It is 'heaven sent' for the tribals. Praksah Amte and his wife also a doctor have given their entire life for the 'seva' (physical help and aid) of the tribals and also have an orphanage for their animals and pets who are injured.A school is run for the children of the tribals along with a hospital and a mobile medical aid unit.The entire campus reveals to you the history of hard work and every stone ,tree,whispers of nature tell you about 'The Amte Family and their team".Years in time and effort have gone in making of what we saw,it started without a proper road and no electricity and literally no building structures!! Amazing but true and so heart rendering......

Then there was the meeting with Baba Amte himself and Dr. Vikas Amte."Anandwan" is a Heaven/paradise by Leprosy patients for their own fellow beings. Who says 'Nothing is Possible'
I would say Anything is Possible.What Baba Amte has done should be the answer to any depressed person to any of his questions and a Lesson to every 'Human' who has all his physical God given healthy limbs but says he is out of work and would like to commit suicide.Transformation of a barren dry area into an evergreen habitat with cleanliness as it's prime motto and hard work as it's anthem.That is "Anandwan".Hope and ambition is in the air they breathe in place of oxygen, and their eyes glitter like shinning gems. People , not cared for by the community,society,personal families have their own respectful dream world given to them by a "Godsend" Baba Amte. He has taught them to be self sufficient and righteous.
It as an exhilarating experience and it was exposed to ourselves that we are "Nothing" as compared to the work we can do and what Baba Amte has done.
Let me very importantly say that there was no 'Temple",Idol worship,Showmanship,artificial make belief or gongs and bells sounded of any kind in both Hemalkasa and Anandwan.Man lived with God all the while along with God's creations. Nature and All !!!No time was wasted in unnecessary rituals ,It was truth and facts all the while. The number of projects that went on were all pertaining to creation of jobs and output ,both needed for the community.It was deep and serious learning, a class and practical education....A Diwali of enlightenment.

1 comment:

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