Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Whole-Hearted Generosity From Those With Very Little

--by luv4all, posted Apr 5, 2010

This is a story about the kindness of the rickshaw pullers in North India.  Rickshaw pullers are some of the poorest people in India and they work extremely hard.  People sit on a carriage and the rickshaw pullers transport them by pulling the carriage manually (or sometimes with a bicycle). 

I recently suffered a knee injury and needed to go to physiotherapy every day. I was unable to walk much, so I had to use a rickshaw puller to take me there, wait for me and then bring me back.  This was usually the only time I would leave the house each day and so I would use these trips to get all the stuff I needed like medicines, milk, fruit, etc.  As I couldn't really walk much, I had to ask the rickshaw pullers if they could take care of these errands for me.  Everyday, on the way back from physiotherapy, I would ask the rickshawpuller to stop by the market and request him to the get me the things I needed for that day. Each day, it would be a different rickshaw puller.

At first I was a little apprehensive.  I thought that they would not agree to stop or if they did that they might ask me for more money.  Instead, I received the kind of care and concern that was simply overwhelming. Without any discussion of the  time, effort or money involved, the rickshaw puller would immediately set off to get the stuff for me.

Despite not used to doing errands like these, the rickshaw pullers would make sure that they were getting the right things.  Often weren't clear about exactly what to get so they would come back to me for clarification. Sometimes they would bring various options with them to show me so I could select something and then they would go back to the shop to get it.

I found them helping me whole-heartedly, they would try to stop the rickshaws as close to my door as possible so I would have to walk as little as possible. They would take care to make sure I got whatever I needed and at the right price. Once a rickshaw puller made sure he exchanged some of the notes he received in change, as he felt they weren't in good condition. One of them didnt even want to take any extra money, when I offered it at the end of the trip. He was happy to have helped and get just the payment for the journey, nothing extra for the amount of time he waited or for his efforts to get me the things I needed. Given that the rickshaw pullers have almost nothing and struggle everyday - this is really incredible.

I am so proud of these rickshaw pullers and salute them for offering not only help but care and concern in a genuine way, as if I was their family.  It is amazing to me that a stranger who is so poor will still try to make me feel comfortable and cared for at the cost of their own money, effort and time. They have given me more so much more than I could ever have paid for. 

Thank you rickshaw pullers.

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Readers Comments

Jasmine wrote: I remember once when we were in india my dad felt sorry for one of the rickshaw wallahs and offered him some extra money. The rickshaw wallah said very clearly that he didn't take charity and wanted to earn whatever he had, and refused the money. It was very stunning and i felt very humbled. Thanks for your beautiful story! :)
papamikey wrote: I had to look up what a rickshaw puller was. Sounds like acts of kindness without thinking about money. You are probably healing faster because of that kindness. Thank you for your story.
luv4all wrote: Thank you all for your inspiring comments. Today, i prayed again for blessings for those rickshawpullers. They made me so comfortable that i could manage my injury without much problem, though it was a new rickshaw puller for many days during 6 months.
SARANYA wrote: Its really amazing how small deeds of kindness make us feel content and happy. We should try to these small things on a large scale so that world can be a better place to live in. Hats off to the rikshaw pullers and may god bless them!
kaviraj wrote: What a concern shown to you by rickshaw pullers. The true storey is instructive and inspiring. Kindness shown by rickshaw pullers gives a message that for doing good deeds one should not wait for big deals. The quantum of help is not as important as the spirit behind the deed.

I salute to all the rickshaw pullers who helped you during the period of your distress.

Wish you speedy recovery.

GuessWhat wrote: Very inspiring. This touched me deeply.
Christina wrote: What a great example of the type of kindness that everyone should show to others! I am sure that the rickshaw pullers will be blessed in many ways.
Satya wrote: How did we get so conditioned to think that time == money? Beautiful things happen when we stop equating the two. Thanks for sharing such a rich message!
Tina Mansfield wrote: Ever notice how often people with the least give the most. Lovely story!
Ritu wrote: Imagine! If we all could make such small differeces in the world by helping people in need. This world would definitely become a wonderful place to live.

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