Rakesh Nayyar, an ISRO engineer settled in Bangalore for the past three decades had come to Amritsar, his hometown to visit his father-in-law in a local hospital. There one day at 5 am in the morning he saw an old woman who belongs to the cleaning staff serving tea to all the patients, their relatives and staffs which she brought from the nearby gurudwara. The woman also came to Rakesh and offered tea, “paaji, chay piyoge?”. “Haanji, pilao”, came his instant reply. To drink a hot streaming cardamom tea in a cold morning was bliss. This incident left Rakesh thinking. If an old woman can do it, then why can’t I do it?
On August 16th, 2015 on his daughter’s birthday, he started the Mission Chai, which gives free tea and biscuits to all the patients, their relatives and their staffs early morning. For now, he is only giving tea to one hospital that is Kidwai Cancer Hospital, Bangalore. He started with 150 glasses of tea with biscuits per day to 500 glasses. He first thought that he would give three days in a week, but understood that people would be waiting for him the next day also. He stores milk and makes water the previous day and makes it early morning in his home. Soon, his daughter also joined him in his venture as a volunteer .
When asked what his greatest challenge was, he says with a laugh that it was waking up early morning. He now says that is not an issue anymore as the picture of the patients’ smile for a hot and content tea is his daily motivation. An incident he shares where he offered a glass of tea to a woman who had come with her child who was sick. “She took an extra biscuit for the child, but did not say a thank you. She just looked and her eyes could say a thousand words. I felt fulfilled and a special aura surrounded me. I suddenly realized I was making a difference,” he exclaims.
Now, there are other people who has come forward and helped Rakesh in his mission. Now a lot of people bring fruits and eatables on their birthdays ,anniversaries and also on shradhs. He says that it is beautiful an experience to watch your idea brew and spread the aroma by itself. However, he has one speculation for all the volunteers that is taking a part in his mission. As a volunteer, you are supposed to be a part of it in every sense. You should help making the tea and serving it with biscuits with your own hands. For now, he wants to continue what he is doing. His future plan includes expanding his mission across the country.
You can contact Rakesh at: rakesh_palak@yahoo. Com
Join them on Facebook: Mission Chai