Go Out to the Streets

Nirmal Hirday, (Khalighat), was one of the most difficult places I have ever worked. The people are filled with a sense of sadness but at the same time Joy was still present in the residents. This was evident in one of the newest residents of Khalighat that I worked with, his name is Laloo. It seemed like a typical afternoon volunteering, when, suddenly, one of the sisters came up to me and asked me to come with her.  As we hurried across the building I asked her what we were doing, she replied, “We are going out on the streets to bring in a new patient, come.”  I didn’t even think twice about what I was doing, but I knew this experience was something that would impact me greatly.

              Sister, myself and another Volunteer went out and quickly walked down the street and found the man sister was informed about. He was a small, old, and frail man who was helpless and needed hope brought back into his life. Sister paused for a moment and then, with compassion and care, talked with the man to learn about him, then myself and the other volunteer picked him up and helped walk him back down the street to Khalighat. He was unable to support himself and was only able to walk with our help. Once we all were back to Khalighat, I sat with the man while sister figured out the paper work and asked him questions about his life. They took a picture for records and got him all checked in as a new resident. The entire time I was with him he didn’t let go of my hand, when I would see his eyes they were filled with fear and sadness. He had no idea what was going on, but he knew that the Missionaries of Charity would help him. I felt like I was able to provide some comfort and hope for this man in our time together.

              The next things sister asked me to do was to take him into the main area of Khalighat, or so I thought. As I entered into the common area with Laloo, I tried to sit him down on a bench and continue to work, but sister waved her arm and pointed to the bathroom. She wanted me to help this man bathe, I was shocked to say the least.  I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, but I was able to help to the best of my abilities. Once I finished helping him shower I got him new clothes and sat him down in the common area just before supper. He was completely exposed, not only physically but also emotionally to me. He never stopped shaking the entire process of entering into Khalighat but once he was clean and comfortable he was still. Hope had come into his eyes and the fear was less, ever since I helped him enter into Khalighat He was only grateful towards me. Each time I would pass him working he would smile and raise his hands to me to let me know how thankful he was for helping him. Not many people get to go out into the streets with the sisters and find these people and bring them into loving hands, and for this experience I am extremely grateful. 


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