Volunteer Diary, Blanket Project: January 8, 2015
The last lot of 30 blankets went to an orphanage named Sant Kabir Orphanage which is run by Swami Vichar Das who is the priest in charge of the Kabir Das temple in this area.
There is one place named Maghar near Gorakhpur where the famous saint Kabir had passed away. He was a poet and saint and had equal following of both Hindus and Muslims. It is believed that when he died the Hindus wanted to cremate him where as the Muslims wanted to bury him.
The story goes that the two communities were on the verge of drawing swords when the cloth covering the body flew away with the wind and there were a bunch of flowers instead of the body.
These were divided it two parts. The Hindus cremated their part and the Muslims buried their part. A temple and mosque were then erected adjacent to each other on the banks of the river Ami and both these buildings still stand today.
Several famous Indian singers like Anoop Jalota have sung his bhajans (religious songs ) and the albums are very popular even today. Even new music groups comprising of youngsters have sung his words.
The following of the disciples of Kabir is not much and the institution is not financially strong. Yet they run some projects like an orphanage, school, meditation courses etc.
Their orphanage has 30 children mostly picked up from the streets. Swami Ji looks after them and sends them to school. I visited them and saw the lack of warm bedclothes There were some old blankets and worn out quilts there and blankets were desperately needed.
We gave one blanket each to these deprived children.
Atul Chopra, Legal Counsel and Volunteer, Maitreya Project Trust – Kushinagar