Anna fast: Urge to serve powered volunteers


New Delhi : Abhinav Rai had a high flying job with a five star hotel in Rajasthan. However, a strong desire to give something back to society forced him to quit and join NGO India Against Corruption, which steered Anna Hazare’s agitation for a strong anti-graft law.

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As Hazare ended his fast Sunday, it also brought down the curtains on 26-year-old Rai’s first major assignment and left the young activist hungry for more.

“This was a great learning experience. I am glad that I left my job and came here,” Rai who quit his job in Jodhpur last year told IANS. “I feel satisfied that I’ve contributed something to society.”

Rai had been camping at Ramlila ground since Aug 19 when Hazare began his fast there after being released from Tihar Jail. And it has been a hectic and tiring 13 days since.

The many services he offered at the fast venue included distributing medicines, food and water to people, coordinating with municipal employees and police personnel, managing crowds and so on.

“I don’t remember the last time I had a sound sleep,” said Rai, as he deputes a colleague to deliver food to some activists.

Volunteers like Rai worked in shifts round the clock. While some came to Ramlila ground in central Delhi as early as 6 a.m. and left by midnight, others stayed through the night.

Rai slept under the marquee at night and freshened up at a petrol pump opposite the ground.

There were many others like Rai who slept on the ground and toiled diligently for the success of the agitation.

Amit Kumar, 28, is an Master of Business Administration (MBA) working in a multi-national company in Noida. He spent several hours at the ground during weekdays and devoted the whole day on weekends.

“I work in office the whole night and come here early morning. After working for a few hours, I return home,” Amit Kumar told IANS.

“From collecting garbage and cleaning toilets, we did everything to keep the ground clean as the footfall increased by the day,” he said.