We all have hopes and dreams that one day when we grow old we will stop working and simply live a more relaxed life. However, it may not be so in case of Raja Singh Phull. According to a Facebook post, the 76-year-old Sikh graduate from Oxford (Yeah, an Oxford graduate of 1964 batch) is forced to live on the streets of Delhi, spending endless nights at New Delhi Railway Station. He spends the nights at the railway station, passes daytime at a visa center next to Shivaji Stadium Airport Metro Station near Hanuman Mandir and gets ready at a Delhi government’s ‘sauchalya’ (public toilet) in Connaught Place. But he is a man of steel who refuses to compromise on self-respect. Begging was never an option for this man who believes in hard work.
His day starts at the Delhi public toilets in CP where he gets ready, ties his turban with the help of a pocket mirror which he carries around wherever he goes and have a cup of tea. If he somehow manages to get some money, he could only afford a biscuit or two for breakfast. There are days when the Sikh old man had to survive without food. “You are not well and there is no earning you will go without a square meal,” quips the old man in immaculate English with a chaste diction as described in the Facebook post.
So why is an Oxford graduate going through this rough phase in life? Well, it’s the story that no parent would want to hear or go through.
We often hear sobbing stories about how sons and daughters leave their parents in old age homes and not look back at them afterwards. They leave the ones who were the sole purpose of their existence to simply ‘die’.
Well, this is just another one. Singh was not even lucky to be dropped off at an old age home. His two sons, married to ‘foreign’ women, allegedly left their old man alone while they settled in UK and US.
Singh came back to India in the late sixties on the request of his brother B S Phull. He and his brother tried their hands at various businesses. While his brother was more into drinking, he managed to work really hard for the sake of his sons.
“I did a lot of hard work and sent two of my sons for studies abroad,” Singh said. Sad right? He broke his sweat every day so that his sons get the best of their life only to be left all alone homeless in the national capital.
Singh may have lost everything after the death of his wife but he has not lost the core values and self-respect. He believes that you should own something if you deserve it (caution warning to the corrupted ones who might take a deep breath as you read this). “I earn and buy my food. For Langar, I need to contribute. If I’m unable I have no right to eat there,” Singh said.
There are, however, occasions when there is no work and he is forced to depend on community kitchen at the Bangla Sahib Gurdwara and ‘bhandaras’ at Hanuman Temple.”God should never force me to beg,” Singh said.
Singh has a cell phone but cannot get a SIM card for want of Aadhar card and permanent address.In the post, the Facebook user also mentioned that Singh is willing to work with if an opportunity comes where he gets a place to stay.
DNA contacted the person who shared the details on Facebook. According to him, Singh is being shifted to an old age home. Many people have come forward to extend help to Singh.