One Saturday morning, I found that an NGO in my area needed volunteers for a construction project that day. This was a pilot project to construct cabins and safe areas for the homeless, to let them stay at these cabins while they can save some money for future accommodation. A helping hand , a bridge to a better future. Homelessness is a big issue in my city. You see it in the shadows of shiny skyscrappers, hidden under the bridges, staring from the perimeter of verdant golf courses and holding placards at traffic lights. But what is also visible the willingness of both government and citizens to do something about it. I see Public Libraries turn to night shelters during winters, I see people passing hot coffee and sandwiches from the boot of their shiny sports cars, I see schools allowing food drives from their premises.
Since it was an 8-hour shift, I didn’t expect that many people would show up, that too so early on a Saturday morning. To my utter surprise, when I reached, there were 25 people in the yard. People ranging from young, old, professionals, students, head honchos to homemakers. And I saw on that Saturday morning people working side by side, sharing skills and knowledge, making mistakes, and learning together. No work too hard, or small. Since then, I have seen the same story unfolding week after week, rain or shine. Different faces but the same heart.
As the winter sets in and the cabins are ready to be handed over, I marvel at what all could be made possible by collective kindness. And apart from relearning about kindness in action, I a construction newbie, also learned something about the field – from painting to pouring concrete!