How It Felt To Serve A Uniform

5 min read 

If you get an opportunity to serve the families of jawans and sailors who work 24×7 to keep us safe, what do you say? Yes, of course!

Seldom do we get a chance to do our bit for these families and so, I immediately signed up for it. How were we helping the families of our jawans and sailors? We accompanied our professionals who were specialist electricians, plumbers and home cleaners to liven up the in and out of their homes. We had to cover several Fauji families at various locations in Central Delhi. I had accompanied the team of professionals to Safdarjung Lane area, where we were warmly welcomed by Mr Sanjeev Thakur (in the Army himself) who took us to visit the quarters of the jawans. There were around six quarters and 26 people residing in them, including 7 kids, along with a very adorable and playful Labrador, Buddy.

Each apartment consisted of one room and an attached kitchen. The porch was shared among the six families and the washrooms were separately located, right behind the quarters. We did quick rounds of each quarter to check the and home cleaning needs, while interacting with the families to find out other problems we could fix.

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Most of the quarters were really clean from the inside but needed major electrical fixes. Altaf ji, an expert Urban Company electrician who was one of the pros who’d volunteered for this initiative, took notes on the materials he needed in order to complete the work. It was in the second quarter that I met Chhavi and Vansh. Co-incidentally it was Chhavi’s birthday (she was turning 3), so she was dressed in a very pretty pink lehenga, eagerly waiting to go on a picnic with her family.

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Ravi, the plumber pro, immediately started fixing the leaky taps and clogged pipes in the sinks and quickly moved on to the non-functional flushes in the washrooms. After that, we started the home cleaning work. Buddy’s room was full of dirt and paper and wrappers that Buddy had collected while playing with the kids and brought them back to his room. So our trained home cleaners started cleaning it. That’s when Muskaan’s mom raised an alarm that the main drain had been clogged for some weeks now causing the waste water from the kitchen and bathrooms to get stuck. The rain on the previous day had made things even more challenging. But with our cleaners to the rescue, it was taken care of.

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They quickly got their equipment and gears to unclog the drain.  There was a point when I could not bear the smell of the drain and wanted to walk out of the gate, but then I saw all these people just standing right there when it was getting cleaned – they were so happy about it that I couldn’t move, however bad the smell.

There were so many problems that these families were facing but no one was complaining about them. They were the happiest people, more so, knowing that these Urban ninjas were looking into and fixing these problems in their lives, which otherwise no one would pay attention to.

The home cleaners left by 4PM as they’d done their job and done it well. Only the plumbing and electrical work was left now. That’s when one of the kids, Vansh, got the idea of playing football, asking me “Didi aap football kheloge?” I said yes, of course! We all went outside and starting playing with gusto. Sometime after Ravi ji was done with his work and had left to answer the call of other Urban Company customers, I told the kids that I would be leaving now too. But the kids kept extending the game by 5 mins! Around 6 PM, my friend also joined me, because playing with these kids was simply too much fun.

Before I left, Vansh said said “Didi aaj bht mazaa aaya, aap roz nahi kheloge na? Aap aaj jake bhool jaoge humein?” I was so touched, that I decided that I am definitely going to visit him again! The Bhaiyyas and Didis were very happy with the services! One of them said, “bathroom to itna chamak raha hai ki apni shakal tile pe dikh jaegi!

And we all laughed at that and I bade goodbye to all of them. Altaf bhaiya stayed behind to work till 9 PM and finally completed the task by working the next day too.

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I could not help but feel very satisfied with the way my day was spent, I did my bit to help these families, I could be the reason for the smile on their face for once and the time I spent with the kids is going to last forever in my mind.

Bittu Singh is a Business Development Manager at Urban Company and celebrates the randomness of the universe by discovering new places and enjoying every experience to the fullest. She loves reading, teaching, spending time with kids, and playing with dogs.

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