Hare Ram Pandey from Deogarh has dedicated his life to raising, nurturing and educating 35 girls, whom he found abandoned in the bushes, forests and trains of Jharkhand. He runs Narayan Sewa Ashram and needs urgent financial help.
On 9 December 2004, Hare Ram Pandey’s life changed forever. He found a newborn girl abandoned in a forest.
“When I found this girl, she was in a very bad condition. There were ants all over her umbilical cord and her back. I immediately took her to a hospital, where she was treated for almost 21 days. The doctor had also lost hope but I knew that this girl was God’s gift to me and would survive,” says Pandey.
He named the girl Taapsee, and today the 19-year-old is one among Pandey’s 35 daughters.
Taking care of Taapsee gave this 66-year-old a new sense of purpose in life and led to him becoming a saviour for girls in Jharkhand.
Along with his wife, Bhavani Kumari, Pandey runs Narayan Sewa Ashram in Deoghar, Jharkhand, where they are raising these young girls who were abandoned by their parents in trains, forests or bushes.
Pandey appeared on an episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) on Monday, 16 October 2023, for the stellar work he has been doing.
For the love of a daughter
On Taapsee’s first birthday, Pandey got a call regarding another abandoned newborn girl. He rescued her and took her to the hospital. When this girl, named Khushi, survived as well, the social worker resolved to make an ashram for such abandoned girls. He registered his Narayan Sewa Ashram as a trust.
“When I first saw Taapsee, my soul bonded with this tiny human. How could anyone abandon these girls? They deserve to live and I resolved to help as many girls as I could,” he adds.
Over the years, the local and railway police, along with the local administration in Deoghar, would call Pandey whenever they found an abandoned girl. Called Baba (dad) by these young girls, Pandey and his wife would lovingly welcome another such ‘daughter’ into their home.
“We are in an adivasi (tribal) area. There is no trust like ours in a 150-200-km radius. So all the calls across this area are directed to me,” he says.
They raise, nurture and educate these girls like their own with the help of the locals. Taapsee and Khushi are in junior college now and aspire to be doctors.
While Pandey is working towards a noble cause, the going has been tough for the sexagenarian. Feeding and educating a family of 40, including the couple, their son and his wife, is a daily challenge, he says.
“I used to work as a compounder for a few years. I didn’t like the corruption involved and quit that job several decades ago. I farmed on our family land but age has caught up with me and that income is not sufficient for us. I find it tough to put food on the table daily, I’m helpless,” he adds.
A humanitarian struggling to survive
Pandey says that their monthly basic expenditure is at least Rs 1.5-2 lakhs. He also spends Rs 20,000 per month on his cows.
“Locals have helped us a lot. They are the reason for our survival. I was able to secure admission for my daughters at the DAV school here where they’ve waived off the fees. But we fall short almost every month. Food is a major problem and a daily struggle which keeps me up at night,” he adds.
He has also constructed a house for these girls, but has been unable to construct a roof or a bathroom due to the lack of funds. They don’t even have a washing machine at home.
“I want to buy computers and projectors for my daughters, an inverter, washing machine and have to finish this house. I need help,” he adds.
But no hardship will stop this hero from fulfilling every need of his daughters. “I will do this till the day I die. I have faith and believe that we will find good people who will help us,” he says.
India needs more Hare Ram Pandeys. It’s a travesty that the person doing so much for a good cause is unable to even eat a full meal. He needs about Rs 15 lakhs to complete the construction of his house.
Let’s unite and help him:
Account details: Narayan Sewa Ashram Deoghar
SBI A/c number: 31521477049
IFSC Code: SBIN0006453
Gpay/ Phonepe no: 8252121126
UPI ID: 8252121126@ybl
You can contact him at +91-8252121126.
Edited by Padmashree Pande