Dr Naurang Singh Mangat’s ashram, which has grown from a small mud hut into a three-storeyed building, has helped more than 300 people
There are people who genuinely feel the pain of those in distress. Dr Naurang Singh Mangat is one of the. For the last 14 years, he has been looking after the homeless, lying by the roadside.
Though Dr Mangat immigrated to Canada in 1996; he never forgot the cries of the homeless and abandoned, lying on the streets back in his home state Punjab. He pledged to wipe their tears and provide them with the dignity every human deserves. In 2005, the former Professor and Scientist of Statistics returned to Punjab, and surrendered himself to the welfare of the downtrodden and dejected.
“From 2005 to 2009, without any office and building, I peddled my bicycle on the roads of Ludhiana and surrounding areas,” says Dr Mangat, who has taught at PAU Ludhiana, University of Windsor (Canada), and Morrison Scientific Inc. Calgary (Canada). The scorching heat and freezing winter could not stop the wheels of his bicycle. He picked up the homeless lying on the streets and gave them free medical help. “However, at the time I did not have any place where I could provide shelter to the homeless for follow up treatment,” he says.
In 2008 he bought 3,000 square yards of land (it has now expanded to 9,500 sq. yards) near the village of Sarabha and built a mud room. By the light of his kerosene lamp and using a kerosene stove for cooking, he continued his service to humanity. His hard work and unflinching belief led to the construction of a three-storey building called “Guru Amar Das Apahaj Ashram” near Sarabha. For many years he continued this mission singlehandedly; the ashram is now being run by a registered charitable trust, while Dr Mangat has returned to Canada.
Since 2011, around 300 patients have been admitted in the ashram. “Some of them have passed away, some have regained health after treatment and been rehabilitated. Some live in the ashram,” he says.
Of the current 120 homeless patients living in the Ashram, 85 are men. Many are mentally challenged, disabled or paralysed, some cannot even recall their own name or whereabouts. Fifteen people (employees, volunteers, and doctors) work at the ashram to take care of the people there. The food, clothes, health care and other necessities are provided free of cost to all patients.
For those seeking to help, Dr Mangat can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org