Sixty-year-old Devdas Goswami, hailing from Ganaur in Sonipat district of Haryana, used to be a truck driver till some years ago. Now hundreds of poor and the homeless look upto him as their saviour. He and his wife Tara serves food and provides home to many.
It all started in 1978 when Goswami was working as a truck driver. He was disturbed by the sight of helpless people looking for food and sleeping on the roads. He wanted to do something for them. And he ended up doing his bits, but the result was that he got fired from many companies for getting late with the goods delivery. He would end up cooking something and feed the people, it obviously kept him delayed at least two hourse everyday.
With Rs 500 earnings every month, he managed to set up a kerosene stove on his truck, buy all the provisions required to cook a meal and provide food for the hungry during the course of his journey. It gave him a self-satisfaction.
He has been doing it for years, almost 35 years now. He still enjoys it, may be with more self-satisfaction. Now he and his wife are running two homes for the poor at Dwaraka in Delhi and in his hometown.
“I myself was homeless and poverty-stricken at one point of time. Poverty was hard. It was definitely the most-toughest phase I ever went through. I did not want anyone to go through the same,” he was quoted as saying about the reason for his work.
Devdas was born to a lower middle-class family in Haryana. Since his father was in the Indian army, he had to keep moving from one place to another in his childhood. When he was 15, Goswami dropped out of school, and started doing certain odd jobs, and was earning Rs 50 to 60 a month. Later, he wanted to be a truck driver which his family did not approve. However, he decided and followed his wish.
“When I could not tolerate my hunger beyond a certain point, I approached a food stall. The person behind the counter refused to give me more than one puri, and even abused me,” he said about his trigger to do something for the needy around.
Whenever he saw people lying along the roads without food and clothes, he would park the truck and cook some rotis and dal or vegetables to feed them. That is how he started his mission to help others. And he used all his savings and earnings for the act. He could not even get his daughter married off in time and waited till she was 30 as he did not have enough. But he is not sad about it or never felt like quitting this mission.
In 2008, Goswami quit his job as a truck driver and the duo together established two homes for the needy. While they rented out the space for one of them in Dwarka by paying Rs 17,000 a month from their savings, they used their own plot in Sonipat to build the other.