Tale of two Heroes

Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.
Orison Sweet Marden

It’s just the right quote for some of the extra ordinary people of our times.Sumak Kumar from Patna is one such Hero of our times who has typifies how “he is the change the way he want to see in the world”. Suman Kumar, a physically challenged, who runs a school for the slum children of Beur locality in Patna. The school has at present around 150 students who are imparted education free of cost.

“Education is solution to the many ills our society is facing today,” Kumar said and added that this very fact motivated him to start the school. A strong supporter of making a law for booking parents who do not send their children to school, Kumar sometimes get frustrated when he finds a large number of parents ignoring his request to send their children to the school.

“Many of the slum dwellers think that education will not be of any help for the future of their children. Something must be done to change this perception else all the efforts made to spread education will come a cropper,” he said. “I hope many would follow my steps which in turn will usher in a new dawn in the country,” he said. Unable to move without the help of the wheel-chair, Kumar is serving society by other means as well.

He has made a group of 20 artists, seven of whom are physically challenged, which works for making people aware about the killer Aids disease and the group to date has traversed seven districts of Bihar spreading the message about the disease.

Suman has been always been an inspiration to others. He travelled to Punjab in 1988, when the state was facing troubled times, on a peace mission. It was followed by many a journeys for some good causes, including the one to Kargil in 1999 to encourage the soldiers facing intrusion of our western neighbour. He also came down from the Gol Ghar in Patna using his mountaineering ropes,he was encouraged by Bachandari Pal to take up this initiative and he made it possible with his sheer grit and determination to strive for the unthinkable.

Ragini Devi

Ragini Devi, from Balthi Rasoolpur village in Muzaffarpur district, was chosen as ‘India’s first Asadharan Mahila (unusual woman)’ for her path-breaking move to take up vegetable cultivation and inspire hundreds of women to take it up as a means of livelihood.The 43-year-old Ragini Devi inaugurated an international woman’s conference along with President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in New Delhi last year.
She has now taken up the herculean task of of spreading awareness about AIDS in the villages. Hailing from Balthi Rasoolpur village in Muzaffarpur district, about 70 km from Patna, she was chosen for the honour in 2006 for her pathbreaking move to take up vegetable cultivation and inspire hundreds of women to take it up as a means of livelihood.
Being a counsellor, Devi is busy spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS in villages.’I am doing it as voluntary work to make a difference’ she said.’Till date the response is more than expected. People, mostly village women, show keen interest in learning about AIDS and its prevention measures. But the fact remains that there are deep-rooted myths and stigma attached to the disease,’ she said.
She admitted that it was not an easy task. ‘I began my campaign against HIV/AIDS last year with the help of hand-written placards and short lectures in the local Hindi dialect,’ Ragini Devi said.She decided to create awareness about prevention measures to minimize the chance of HIV/AIDS and to fight against misconception.Ragini Devi’s initiative to campaign against HIV/AIDS is seen here as a right step in rural Bihar.

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