As I entered the bloodbank I noticed him sitting aloof in the donor’s refreshments corner, carefully having whatever that was provided.
I completed my pre-donation requirements only to discover I was rejected yet again for this attempt. There wasn’t sufficient haemoglobin count. (it’s normal, don’t worry!)
As I quite sadly proceeded to get my belongings from my younger sister who accompanied me, I couldn’t possibly have left that place without talking to this Indian man, who had a certain calmness to him – and had instilled a curiosity in me to wonder if he was a construction worker. Because if he was, he must be one amazing soul.
Thank God for a Tamizh (Tamil) speaking behna. She became our interpreter and our little conversation began
Abhines hails from Tamilnadu and has been here since 2007.
Back in India, during his college and school days he was active in social work. He was also involved in NCC (National Cadet Corps).
His blood is of a rare type and he mentioned that where he came from – they lacked the necessities to preserve the blood in good condition.
He donated his blood for the first time here on 12.12.12 (that was how he said it! How adorable). He’d gone to a doctor before to enquire on how he can donate blood here but he wasn’t responded with properly.
So one day he saw a poster on becoming a blood donor and made his way on his own.
Today was his 4th donation.
Abhines works as a construction worker and says it is very tough to be one. Physically challenging.
He says he wants to donate blood even though he’s a construction worker because donating blood is a rare thing amongst his peers.
Abhines works on the Tampines – Simei construction sites.
I understand there is much warpness that is involved pertaining the ideas we have about construction workers.
But today I hope that Abhines’s kind act of having saved some 12 Singaporean lives now (one donation can save 3 lives), will help change that a bit, so that next time hopefully we too, can be like him – or be kind to those like him, just as he is kind to us.
Today I was inspired by yet another foreign worker brother.
I cannot express enough how ashamed of myself and my people I was, yet at the same time so heartened by Abhines for what he had to share today.
I love my foreign construction brothers, and I hope you’ll find it in you to love them too.
It can be extremely difficult to earn a living and keep up with the Singaporean pace or ways of living… But can you imagine what a struggle it must be for people like him too?
If we ourselves know what it feels like to toil in our sometimes apathetic environment, let’s try a little to empathize..
Because when we do something for others, we’re doing something for ourselves too.
When I asked Abhines what made him donate his blood, he replied with this:
“Nothing belongs to us. Everything belongs to God, so why not share it?”