Dharmendar Singh of Hadiabad village was quick to pick up Amma’s Teachings.
He was dissuaded from selling tobacco in the tiny village. He stopped it the same day, in Amma’s Name.
Amma’s children from Amritapuri were in Hadiabad, the village by the Mushar tol (Mushars are a community who are in dire need of evolution) in Ratanpur village of Ara-Bhojpur district of Bihar State. And we went round the village speaking about Amrita SeRve- the team Amma sends to serve the villagers in order to make them self reliant. This was my second visit here. Till date I had visited a few tiny shops of the village that sell groceries, soap and such toiletries. They also have had beedis and cigarettes. We tell the villagers about the bad effects of tobacco on human lungs and on family’s economy and so on. Normally we get people who agree with the facts we tell. When requested to take steps to save the village from its evils, normally we only get sarcastic or helpless smiles.
But Dharmendar’s is a different case.
“Bhayya, do you sell tobacco and jarda and such things?” that morning we spoke to him who was at the counter.
“Tobacco, yes. Not the other things,” said he with his no-expression face.
“Good, but you know what bad effects the village will suffer…”
“Even if one shop doesn’t sell, the smokers will buy from elsewhere,” said he.
“True, Bhayya. But even if one shop doesn’t sell it will be one strong effort towards the good of the village. Everything begins from one only, you see.”
“Okay, okay,” said he that morning. I didn’t expect much because I assumed from his no-expression face that he has no feelings.
The same evening we were to be the guests for dinner in their house. Most of us –guests and hosts-were women. He didn’t not show up. As we were leaving, I looked into his shop at the front of the house, and asked casually, “Bhayya, what did you decide about selling tobacco?”
In his unique un-dramatic manner he said, “I gave them up.”
“What? Are you not selling them from tomorrow, then?”
“I gave them up today itself.”
Oh, Amma! Here is a child of Yours!