A life dedicated to the service to humanity is the most sublime way of making life worth living. A G Anil Kumar, a 49-year-old philanthropist from Ananthapuram has adopted this belief as his motto of life and stood strong among the crowd to help the frontline workers and everyone in need to rise above the challenges that the pandemic has brought forth.
The man of profound honor, Anil launched a lot of initiatives to make a difference in which the district was battling the virus. One of his most eminent campaigns is ‘Heal Ananthapuram’ under which he distributed over 90,000 N-95 masks, 1.5 lakh surgical masks, 75,000 surgical gloves, 3 lakh surgical caps, and 60,000 sanitizers procured from Malaysia and Korea to all the frontline and essential workers in town. With his venture of ‘Discover Ananthapuram,’ he fortified people during these tough times to not lose hope and stand aware of the situation completely.
Getting in touch with Anil Kumar, he shared a few insights of his life that led him to lend a hand to the ailing humanity.
1) Did it never scare you to step into such high-risk zones considering the havoc the virus created worldwide?
It would be a lie if I say that the idea was not unnerving initially but I never second-guessed my decision. Seeing how the world was struggling during the first wave petrified me. The unavailability of vaccinations and lack of proper knowledge didn’t let me be of use to serve mankind. Even then though, I took on my camera and went on to document the lives of our COVID warriors, patients, doctors and nurses included at hospital ICUs. Fortunately, before the second wave had hit us I got vaccinated and took a hold of all the safety measures that were required to enter the warzone. The feeling that I could help in saving lives did not leave much to my thinking. Protecting the protectors was the topmost priority for me then.
2) What was your moment of epiphany which made you realize that it’s time you do something for the struggling mankind?
Ever since the pandemic had hit us, it made me think and brainstorm on ways on how I could make use of my resources to help the people in need directly. During the first wave, I saw my 78-years-old mother serving the poor on the streets without a hint of fear in her eyes. It was all the motivation I needed and hence triggered me to take the plunge to stand with our frontline workers during the second wave.
Fueling my passion for photography, I initially started with documenting and restoring the heritage sites of Ananthapuram. It gave me immense pleasure to do something for my district. Later on, expanding my boundaries, I started on the endeavor to do something for my community as a method to give back to society, everything it has done for me.
3) Welcoming and caring for a stranger into your abode, was it easy, and did your family support you?
Helping this lady in such a difficult situation was a decision that I did not take any time to make. Having spent thirty-six days in a COVID ICU, the doctors had almost given up on this old daily wage laborer. I witnessed his teenage son, trying relentlessly to somehow bring her mother the comfort she needed. Without any second thought, I took them both home and decided to nurture the lady back to health.
I could not let the hope I saw in the son’s eyes seeing that her mother could live to fizzle out. My family too was very supportive of the decision. They had their concerns regarding our safety, but never even once they put up a question regarding the lady staying under our care. We provided them all the support they needed and within a few days, she was up and about taking a walk at least thrice a day in our garden.
4) How do you plan on continuing these philanthropic activities once the virus completely dies out?
It is not just because of the virus taking over the world that made me work as a humanitarian. It did indeed provoke me to start now but my activities will continue long after the virus is over too. This is the path I have chosen to tread on now for serving the poor and needy. All my endeavors, let that be, working on the heritage sites, bringing them back to life or standing amidst the COVID war zones and procuring our protectors all the medical gear they require or distributing free cooked meals thrice a day, will in a way or other be continued as I have realized this is how true happiness and satisfaction can be attained.
5) Do you plan on joining more people in your endeavors or you believe in the concept of ‘One-Man Army?
I do not believe in the concept of a one-man army. It is always ‘the more the better’. I want that through my thoughtful approach, I can inspire the society around me to come up and play their parts alongside becoming a citizen of the social responsibility movement. I am delighted to know that eight other individuals are doing what I have been doing recently. Yes, I know it will take time and it is a gradual process but I would like to travel that journey as that’s the only way we can bring in change and be the change together.
Believing in the fact that one should stop being confined to their problems and look beyond that at issues of larger interest, A G Anil Kumar has established that helping the world and being kind to others does not ask for much. On the other hand, it is a feeling that empowers and could be cherished for a lifetime.