Mother Teresa’s story is an inspiration to all of us. All the noble things he did for the betterment of others are well-known throughout the world. Today there are many people around us too who are busy in shaping the lives of others. Today we are going to make you talk to one such person.
This is the story of Arup Sengupta, who lives in Kolkata. After fighting through many difficulties, Arup got a new life and then he decided that he will dedicate his life to the people. Today, wherever he goes, his oxygen cylinder is with him. About 7 years ago, he came to know that he had a disease called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). But even this disease did not stop him from carrying out his campaign. Earlier, Arup has been a tuberculosis patient and after a lot of difficulties, he defeated the disease and still continues to progress.
He started an NGO called ‘Notun Jibon’ to help the lives of sex workers and their children. It means new life. Arup says, “I will continue to serve the needy till my last breath. My only aim is to bring positive changes in the lives of the needy. My effort will continue. ”
He started his organization about 4 years ago. Today, this organization is supporting the lives of the children of more than 40 sex workers and it has also saved many women from domestic violence.
There was a beginning with trouble:
In 1952, Arup was born into a prosperous family. But after a few years, a mountain of troubles broke on him. In 1968, he lost his father and in this shock his mother became intoxicated. Her elder sister had to work in a dance bar to run a house. All this was going on that Arup developed tuberculosis, that is, tuberculosis.
“In 1968, when our neighbors came to know about my TB disease, they forced us to evacuate. Today I remember the time when people are turning away from the patients of COVID-19, ”he said.
When Arup had no recourse from anywhere, he found a place in a shelter home. He says that TB took the lives of many people during that time. “I remember how TB patients were kept in a room where we watched death very closely. Whenever there was a beep sound on the machine, we would know that we have lost someone again, ”he said.
Out of the ill-fated room, only two of the hundreds returned alive and one of them was Arup. After two years of continuous care, Arup once again started living a normal life.
Notun Jibon – New Life
Arup had lost everything. Nevertheless, he got a second chance in life. He even went as far as playing guitar and drums at weddings and other occasions so that he could study. After completing college, he worked in the corporate world in the FMCG and Human Capital Management sectors for over 45 years in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore.
Four years ago, when he retired from the corporate world, Arup chose to settle in Kolkata. “I was returning home to my hometown after twenty years,” he says.
But here he saw a changed Kolkata.
“The city I left as a young boy had changed. I saw poverty, apathy here. No one should sleep hungry at night. So that when I meet the above I have the answer, I can tell them what I did to bring change in the world, ”he said.
On 31 December 2016, he bought blankets worth Rs 10,000 to distribute to the needy. And it was here that ‘Notun Jibon’ started.
In 2016, he registered it as a trust. The primary objective of this organization is to teach needy children, and now they have also formed a self-help group for women and sex workers.
Work for poor and needy children and women:
The organization employs eight women, known as Nari Shakti Teams, all from disadvantaged backgrounds and some former sex workers. These Notun manage Jibon and serve in various roles such as teachers, managers and fundraisers. Jhumki Banerjee, secretary of Notun Jibon, says, “Arup da saved me from a bad marriage. I have known him for more than four years. He is constantly working. ” Jhumki oversees all fieldwork and is also a trustee of the organization.
Arup trusts the Nari Shakti team that he has the strength to work with children and his other sisters. He says that it is a matter of great satisfaction for him that even if he does not live tomorrow, his work will progress in skilled hands. Apart from these women, there are nine men who work with the organization on their own volition.
For the children of the sex workers whom they have saved, they have also started Sahaj Path, a sub-unit of Notun Jibon. Children 3 to 12 years old come for classes every evening and are given milk and a banana. Volunteers provide basic education to these children – such as teaching reading and writing and teaching mathematics.
Work during the epidemic:
The children who were unable to study during the epidemic were being given weekly ration packages by the organization. This includes three kilograms of rice, two kilograms of potatoes, half a kilo of lentils, and mustard oil. Every morning, Arup, Jhumki and other volunteers went out in the morning to distribute masks with luggage in the car. Although life is going on in villages in COVID-19, but there was a shortage of food and Arup’s team made up this shortage. At the same time, he also ensured that all the employees and volunteers of his NGO get salary.
Till now they have not allowed 400 sex workers to have ration and no shortage of food. Jhumki says, “Arup da is a person who doesn’t worry about eating next time.” If he has 20 rupees in his pocket and asks for any help from him, he will keep 5 rupees for himself and give the rest to others. ”
Regarding funding, Arup says, “Over the years there have been a lot of helpers involved. A post on social media and many people come forward to help. I have put my 45-year deposit in this organization itself. ”
After all, he only says that all the years of his life that he has left, he will continue to dedicate himself to help others.
If you are inspired by this story of ours and you want to contact Arup Sengupta, then you can visit his organization’s website.