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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jayesh Bhai - unparalleled Hero!

When Sri told me about Jayesh Bhai my antenna didn’t go up that much. I was still a bit skeptical about how one man can so easily spread love n affection ( as sri says) and lead/guide people of different walks of life to do something extraordinary. Ofcourse all of that very useful to society.
I have met many people who have spoken about love, compassion etc earlier, but have been shallow. They have been delivering such words for the heck of it, without any deeds on the floor. Its easy to just sound empty rhetorics and steal the lime light (for a short while) or genuinely sound them thinking for one’s self that they are doing wonders, where as the reality wud be silly.

Here with this back ground I go and meet Jayesh Bhai and with my own skepticism about love conquering people/deeds etc.
What a pleasant surprise. What a man he is!
I don’t think I can enumerate his association in various fantastic projects. I cant get a hang of the number of people he has influenced and guided, no. of projects he is associated with and the ease with which he just throws info/ideas and coolly carries on 24x7.
His eyes and body conveys so much love (I have never believed that cud happen) and he is so casual about all his feats. Infact he hides his part in almost all the projects and acts like they are happening by themselves and its just a coincidence he is there.
Its just unbelievable.
After all, his father has been there from Gandhi’s days and has dedicated the last 6 decades on his pet area- sanitation. I was told about the passionate way Ishwar Bhai patel has been doing this for years and the story goes that when jayesh bhai was in teens and said he wanted to take part in community service (its in the blood u see), the first thing his father told nay gave him was a broom and asked him to go clean toilets! Since that initiation Jayesh Bhai has gone miles. But not without his school and college mates ragging him of being a toilet cleaner. Iam sure he stands tall amongst all of them.
One has to listen to him talk about sanitation. The father and son combo have toilet museum in the Sabarmati ashram as well as in the new campus of Environment Sanitation Institute, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Their research has resulted in various types of toilet, various workable models and most importantly various villages and public schools with eco-friendly toilets.

Its no wonder Jayesh Bhai had a big role in Seva Café. The ESI campus is fully designed and built by him (again he wud never refer that. u get to hear that only if u talk to others out there). He is on top of most good projects, passionate efforts and almost all people around by name. I naively asked him if he was involved with some schools, then I reframed my question if he was involved with the Govt (rural) school children. NO! Manav sadhna and hence JB runs so many schools which is like parallel governance. He is a major influence for some 1000s of slum children by involving directly in the rural schools.
Amidst all this he played a terrific host, always seeing to it that we had breakfast or lunch on time where ever we were in Ahmedabad and also of our transportation. The royal steal was he took us around the Sabarmati Ashram explaining every bit of it, strewn with so many anecdotes and spent so much time. I have no words to express how fortunate we were to have been taken around By JB himself . Manav sadhna runs out of the same campus and he also runs an orphanage out there. Some 70 kids of varied ages live and school there. Ofcourse the toilet is his design and the waste is recycled. The gas is captured in a gas chamber and used for cooking (60% of the cooking needs of the orphanage’s kitchen is met with from this!) and then composted. But u wudnt find his name in that website. Infact not much about him can u find in the internet. So much for humility and under play. He is all of that and just doesn’t publicise not spells out big about all his work.
For more on him see here. (I know sri beat me to it, not only by time but by class too. Still my posts goes to print here.)
So all of us who complain about lack of time- laugh at (o)urself.
I was put to deep shame and severe inferiority complex. Not that I have done anything to even compare but the very fact that some one has done so much and coolly talks to us and spends so much time and doesn’t take a slight cognisance of his achievements is incredible. As he took us around the Sabarmati ashram, when ever some group of kids (mostly slum kids who come as a part of their school program) he is in full swing. Brushing their hair, making fun, showing them his nails and asking them to compare, talking about sanitation and cleanliness with such an ease, giving high-fives to the whole group..amazing man he is.

Sriram had this to say: when sri was working with slum kids’ education in Bombay, one visit to Jayesh Bhai by those students and they wud be totally transformed. I thoroughly believe this for I have seen so many puddings of Jayesh Bhai.

Long live Jayesh Bhai. I wish he trains a couple (or even better clones) and send south. We need many such JBs here

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