Many years back I read a book of Dalai Lama titled ‘Power of Compassion’. After reading the book for the first time, I realised the importance of the word ‘compassion’ and also how powerful it is when practiced in true sense. I also had a practical experience of this fact a few years later when I was posted as Housing Commissioner of Uttar Pradesh. As Housing Commissioner, I used to meet the public every afternoon in order to listen to their grievances. At times, the number of visitors used to be quite large but I always attended to all.
One day during this meet, a daily wage employee of the organisation met me with a medical report of Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI). Most of the visitors used to meet me for their house-related problems, so it was something I was not exactly prepared for. The person appeared to be very sick and his report required an emergency operation, which was to cost about one lakh rupees. As a daily wager, he was not entitled to reimbursement from the organisation. He had come to see me to seek special dispensation, which was not within the rules. He also mentioned that without the operation he would surely die within a short period, while after the operation the chances of his survival were about fifty percent. This was a difficult situation for me, particularly when other visitors were also waiting in the queue. At that moment, the human consideration became more important for me than rules. I, therefore, immediately rang up the Director of SGPGI, who happened to be a good friend of mine, to go ahead with the operation and also assured him of the payment. However, I was not clear about its source and thought about it only after meeting all the visitors. At that time, an idea came to me that half the money should be contributed by the employees and half by the organisation. When I placed this proposal before the association of the employees along with a cheque of my contribution, they all agreed to it and the money was arranged accordingly. The sick employee was soon operated in SGPGI and the operation was successful.
After about a month, during my visitor’s time, the same employee was again in the queue with a medical fitness report. In that state of fitness, it was not possible for me to recognise him on my own. It was only when he reminded me of the help extended to him that I pleasantly recalled the whole incident. Obviously it gave me great joy and satisfaction. At that moment, I also recalled the book of Dalai Lama and once again realised the ‘power of compassion’, which I consider to be beyond all rules and regulations.