Youngsters dance on street for 3 days to fund friend's father's treatment

Oct 20, 2015, 10:30 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

Group of 10 friends took to streets to help school mate foot medical bills for his father’s treatment after he was knocked down by a bus in Pune; group has raised Rs 23k, Rs 6 lakh to go

Pune: A friend in need is a friend indeed. A group of 10 friends — pursuing engineering and MBA — has turned into part-time street performers for the past few days to help raise funds for one of their school friends whose father met with an accident on October 3.

While a group member performs,  others hold placards urging  onlookers to donate
While a group member performs,  others hold placards urging  onlookers to donate

Commenting on their initiative, one of the group members said through their campaign, ‘Donate to save one’s life. Your Single Penny will save a life,’ they are trying to raise as much money as possible to help their friend Bhupendra Shingade (22). He added that one of the friends received a call from Bhupendra, a resident of Wakad, on October 3 informing him that his father Narendra was knocked down by a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) bus near Wakad.

Narendra (50), who works as a clerk in a reputed firm, was rushed to a private hospital in Pimpri-Chinchwad. He was admitted to the ICU, as he had sustained multiple head and faciomaxillary (facial) injuries. However, the Shingades decided to shift Narendra to the Sassoon General Hospital as the medical bill touched a few lakhs in just four days.

Abhijeet Kure (22) said, “Bhupendra is our school friend and we have known each other for over a decade. On October 3, we received a call from him informing us about his father’s accident. He told us that his father was unconscious and was kept in the ICU. He later told us that since the family could no longer afford to pay the hospital bill, they were shifting him to a government hospital.

He is yet to clear previous bills amounting to Rs 6 lakh, and is currently burdened with the responsibility of paying for the ongoing treatment as well. Though we all chipped in, the amount collected wasn’t much. We even circulated details of his father’s condition among friends and relatives, hoping they would help. But the response we received was poor.” He added, “It was Aniket Airekar, one of the group members, who came up with the idea of street performances to raise funds.”

Aniket said, “Street performers are widely appreciated in the West and make a good deal of money through their
acts. I immediately contacted our common friend Shashi Kumar Shetty, a dancer and hip-hop instructor. He immediately agreed to perform without charging any money. In the past three days, we managed to collect Rs 23,000 by performing at various locations on Fergusson College (FC) Road and Jangali Maharaj Road. Despite heavy rains we performed and the crowd appreciated our performances. We mostly targeted areas where youngsters hangout after college. We know that the amount collected isn’t much, but it will at least help Bhupendra take care of his father’s medicines. It is a small gesture on our part to show how much he means to us.”

Bhupendra said, “I have no words to express my gratitude towards my friends. I just hope my father recovers soon.”

Want to help?

Those who want to help the Shingades can contact Abhijit Kure on: +918888300482

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