I'm sure you've all come across this social media post of a man who despite having a degree from Oxford, lives a nomad's life in New Delhi, filling visa forms for people and helping them with applications. Avinash Singh shared a post on his Facebook wall about 76-year-old Raja Singh Phull and his rough journey, which went viral under the hashtag - #OxfordUniversityAlumnihitsroughpatch.
Here are some excerpts from his first post, after which help from around the world began pouring in:
"He is an Oxford graduate who shifted to India on the insistence of his brother in the Sixties - 60s.
Today 76-year-old Raja Singh Phull is living a nomad's life -- sleeping at New Delhi Railway 🚉, getting ready at a Delhi Government's sauchalaya at Connaught Place - "I fill forms, help and guide people earning from zero to 100 rupees, sometimes more!"
His eyesight and his legs are failing yet he pulls on barely making his both ends meet! He leaves Railway 🚂 station at 6- 15 am. Will be at CP Sauchalaya by 6-40 am going through daily chores, washing his clothes tying his turban with the help of a pocket mirror and have a cup of tea ☕! If there is money a rusk or two would act as breakfast!"
This man's spirit seems to be unbreakable as he smiles for the camera and pretends like this is the life he chose for himself.
"There are days that Raja Singh has gone without proper 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!
What about kids and family? After moving to India he and brother B S Phull tried hands at various businesses! While brother was more into drinking "I did a lot of hard work and sent two of my sons for studies abroad," he adds! Raja Singh even took loans for his children! Today they are in UK and the US well settled with firangi wives not having time for their father who is living by the roadside in the National Capital!
But he hasn't let anything stand in the way of his faith and has constantly tried to look at the brighter side of things while refusing to beg and live off other people.
Raja Singh is a staunch Sikh too! He has been attached to 'Guru Ghar' all his life! He avoids partaking Langar at Gurdwara Bangla Sahib! "I earn and buy my food. For Langar, I need to contribute. If I'm unable I do have no right to eat there." There are, however, occasions when there is no work and you are dependent on Bhandaras at Hanuman Temple and community kitchen at the Gurdwara!
Raja Singh has no remorse that his relations after he lost his wife are mostly wary of him. No help has come from Government or any other quarters! He has got a cell but he cannot get a SIM for want of Aadhar card and a permanent address! He has only one prayer, "God should never force me to beg"! He was reluctant to accept help but with failing health he will need succour sooner or later!"
He is an Oxford graduate who shifted to India on the insistence of his brother in the Sixties - 60s. Today 76-year-old...Posted by Avinash Singh on Friday, 20 April 2018
Thankfully, Raja Singh has now found a permanent residence in Guru Nanak Sukhshala, a charitable old age home in Delhi’s Rajender Nagar. According to Avinash Singh, he seemed baffled by the concept of social media and having gone viral but was humbled by the help he had received.
The good news is that the internet helped a man get the respect he deserved. Abandoned by his family, Raja Singh was given a second chance at life by strangers he'll probably never meet.
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