Though not as sweet as Rabindranath Tagore’s Kabuliwala, the Radhesyam story from W. Bengal also is beautiful and touching. Radhesyam was a non-paid street cleaner in Hingalganj, of North 24 Parganas district, where he lived for quite a length of time. He had in him embedded strongly, a strange habit of keeping the streets clean. Be it ditches, small waterways or walk roads, it was hard for him to see them cluttered. Though Radhesyam was familiar to everybody there, nobody knew the whereabouts of Radhesyam the sweeper. However, everybody knew the impact of his work – Hingalganj had become a clean place. By that time, the people there also had begun keeping the city clean.
Radhesyam never took any penny from anybody. He was also quite reserved in interactions and did not speak much. Soon, the locals found out one more thing – he didn’t know Bengali and is not a Bengali at all. On detailed interrogation, they understood that he has no close friends or acquaintances either. The case came to the Kolkata Hams and they gave the news in Kolkata media.
Fortunately, the news reached the intended place. His relatives living in Kabira in Harda dist. of Madhya Pradesh, responded. In May 2021, they came to Hingalganj and took him back. He was mentally challenged and had evaded Kabira many years back. However, he could change the culture of the place even by himself being a stranger knowing not the local language. This is a solid example proving that a live action speaks louder than discourses and write-ups.