GUWAHATI: Many of the poor in Assam’s railway township Mariani call him “Raja Harishchandra”, the generous.
Former MLA Alok Kumar Ghose is feeding hundreds of poor in these troubled times with no MLA development fund at his disposal. But there are anecdotes of him spending beyond his MLA development fund when he was a legislator many years ago.
As the COVID-19 lockdown has thrown life out of gear, over 5,000 needy people look up to their benefactor as they gather every day for relief that Ghose distributes.
“I had no grain at home as I don’t have ration card. Alok dada came to us just as the generous Raja Harishchandra. May God bless him!” said Jayanta Mazumdar, a beneficiary.
Ghose, a leader of BJP in Jorhat district, said as COVID-19 emerged as a curse for the world, it was the duty of everyone to help the poor.
“As the poor are suffering, we all have to come together to save their lives. At the same time, we have to ensure that we break the chain of COVID-19 pandemic which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said,” Ghose emphasised.
He said he had started helping the poor in a very small way responding to the call of Assam’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to people.
For the past ten days or so, Ghose is providing ration to the poor, mainly in Mariani and other parts of Jorhat district. The relief includes rice, pulses, wheat, vegetables, mustard oil, biscuits etc.
The beggars are among his beneficiaries. As shops, which help them, are closed, they were virtually starving. Ghose is feeding around 100 of them, including women and children, each day and gave clothes to them. He is also helping retired workers of tea gardens who are poor.
Ghose is the president of Mariani Development Committee, which is a registered NGO with wings in some districts. It has some ambulances which extend the service to people free of cost.