Got Water! Good Samaritans D’Souza and Hussain Quenching Neighbours’ Thirst
Mangaluru: What would you do if your house was the only one in the neighborhood which as a well and you got running water through a pump, while your neighbours’ taps are gone dry since the supply of water by MCC has been cut down tremendously? The severe water shortage raging through in and around Mangaluru has been all over the news, with residents struggling to get their daily need of water, and on the other hand, owners of private water tankers ripping off the citizens by charging enormously for water delivery. But during this water crisis, instead of locking up their wells/bore-wells, there are a few Samaritans in the City, who have come forward to help their neighbors by supplying them water from their wells, thereby quenching their thirst. Among the two Samaritans are Mohammed Hussain, residing near Gujjarakere-Jeppu Market; and the other person is Joe D’Souza residing near Kadri Pumpwell-Kadri Rd.
Meeting Mohammed Hussain at his business place, a auto repair shop which is attached to his house near Gujjarakere-Jeppu Market, he said, ” In the time of water crisis I have allowed nearly thirty household people, irrespective of caste or creed, who live around my house to draw water from my well. When I have enough water in our well, it’s always good to share it with our neighbors when they are facing water problems. I even allow the nearby businesses, including couple eatery places to draw water from my well. I believe that water has no religion in sharing it with others. Even though Muslims have been portrayed in a negative way in many instances, I still stand by my faith. Just because a small part of the Muslim community is bad that doesn’t mean the whole Muslim religion is bad. I am against moral policing and vigilantism, and communal disturbances on petty issues. We should all live in harmony, and during crisis like water shortage we should help each other irrespective of caste or creed. Just like me, I want others also to be good Samaritans and help those in need”.
Speaking of the nearby Gujjarakere (a huge water-pond), Hussain said, “The pond was restored with a cost of nearly three crore rupees. With all the drainage water leaking into this pond it has been contaminated. Lately Rs 25 lakh was sanctioned, out of which only Rs 10 lakh was spent to clean it, but not much has been done, because the pond is still filthy. During water crisis like this one, the authorities should quickly use the remaining Rs 15 lakh to desilt the Gujjarakere pond, then it could recharge the water table and wells too. This pond also needs de-weeding because of the large amount of weeds scattered all over the pond. Once this pond is clean, water could be also drawn from this pond and transported by tankers to households.
When it comes to Joe D’Souza, a retired Electrical Engineer who after 40 years of service in Chicago suburbs-USA, and settled back in Mangaluru has been a social worker, helping citizens of Mangaluru in their needs, including the Cops. The cops only know him as “American Uncle”, and not by his real name. Just like Mohammed Hussain has also been very helpful to a bunch of his neighbors by supplying water through pipe drawn from the well. Not only that while driving around he provides bottled water to the traffic cops who have been sweating in the scorching weather controlling the traffic menace. Joe has been doing this service of providing the cops with water for the last so many years. Being a “Jack of all trades”, he has been helpful like a “Handy-Man” to many police stations, either fixing their electrical or sanitation problems-and also erecting sign boards free of cost.
Being a social worker for long in the city and beyond, Joe’s benevolent actions have no end to his praises. Many praise him saying that he is not the name of a man, he is the name of action. ” If anyone can teach how to serve humankind, it is Joe Porbulu. We asked him to take money in exchange of the water, but he sternly refuses. He tells us to take as much water as we need for free.” says one elderly neighbor lady. Joe seems quite oblivious to the fame he has been garnering for his good works. In fact, he believes he has been doing nothing outstanding but just giving away what belongs to others in the first place.
Gujjarakere Pond, near Jeppu Market
When asked what he would do if his well ran out of water if he regularly gives water to his neighbor, Joe laughingly said, “When that happens, even I will pick up a pot and go around looking for water like others. And you can join me too, if you need water also. I have faith in God that our well won’t go dry, because I am sharing the water that God gave us with others.
In conclusion, we should remember that it is people like Mohammed Hussain and Joe D’Souza who remind the rest of the world that charity begins at home, and that humanity is bound by no race and religion. If you have enough water for yourselves, share the extra with others who don’t!