Coming from a distant land, she made India her home and Indians her own….
It took the Vatican almost 19 years after the death of Mother Teresa to declare her a saint. But for millions of Indians she was already a saint. She was annointed a saint while she took the old, hungry and abandoned into her homes and cared for them as her own. She became a saint when she treated the poor and homeless like her children. For those under her care, she was a mother and for those who saw her she was an angel.
She spent almost 68 years in the service of people who could never repay her back. The sick, the old, the orphans and the needy and the poorest of the poor. She came to India in 1929 and began her novitiate studies as Sister Teresa, but her love, affection, service and dedication made her; what we call her today, Mother Teresa. Her Missionaries of Charity runs homes for people dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; children’s and family counselling programmes; orphanages; and schools.
She restored faith in humanity and taught us that we are, but one human family. We come accross few people like her who touch our lives and give us a hope to live for, and as Indians we have been fortunate to have them here, one such example is Baba Amte who was known for his work for the rehabilitation and empowerment of poor people suffering from leprosy in the Wardha district of Maharashtra. While few such selfless beings become famous, many more remain unknown throughout their life and inspire us to serve humanity in our own ways. It could be being good to our family, neighbours, friends and the people we come in contact with. If we do not have anything to give others, the least we could is our smile. As Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said: “Smiling is Charity.”
People like Mother Teresa and Baba Amte never helped people belonging to a particular caste or creed but all those in need. Today, when politicians and godmen are dividing our nation on caste and religious lines, people like Mother Teresa and many such unknown angels restore faith in humanity and reiterate faith in our culture of ‘Athiti Devo Bhava’ (Guest as God).