In a world where opulence is a privilege for some and the bare essentials a luxury for others, a group of unsung heroes emerged, donned in the simple guise of the Umsawnongbri Mistery Association (UMA). Bound by a shared commitment to society’s well-being, these unassuming masons embarked on a mission to lend a helping hand to those grappling with life’s adversities.
The beneficiary of their benevolence was Balakyntiew Lyngdoh, a single mother of six children and the widow of the late Shoppor Pamshong, a mason in his time.
Markhiador Tyngkan, the president of the association, shared with The Meghalayan the poignant motivation behind their altruistic endeavours.
“Our livelihood is forged through the toil of construction work, where villagers and those beyond our borders enlist our services. It is from this daily grind that we sustain ourselves. In reciprocation, we have chosen to give back to the community by assisting those grappling with need,” he revealed.
In an age marked by self-absorption and individual pursuits, finding a collective of daily-wage labourers willing to sacrifice their time and earnings for the betterment of another’s life is a rarity. Tyngkan added, “We are daily-wage workers, and at times, finding the time for such endeavours proves challenging. Yet, we persevere by labouring in the morning before our daily commitments and in the evening upon our return. This dedication ensures that the construction of Kong Balakyntiew’s home progresses without undue hardship on our own families.”
He underscored the significance of giving back to society after reaping its benefits as an innate act of kindness that should be embraced by all. “No contribution is too modest when we give back to society by aiding others. Through diligence and dedication to assisting others, we not only bring joy to ourselves but also spread happiness to others.”
The UMA, on January 30, achieved the seemingly insurmountable, rallying their members to complete Lyngdoh’s home in a single day. Tyngkan conveyed the joy of fulfilling a long-cherished desire to help those in need, marking it as their inaugural stride towards assisting people, particularly orphans and single mothers.
Speaking to The Meghalayan, Balakyntiew Lyngdoh expressed profound gratitude to the Association for their invaluable contribution to her family. She shared, “As a single mother working tirelessly to meet the needs of my six children, constructing a house was an overwhelming challenge. Despite earning wages, they were primarily allocated towards my children’s education and basic necessities. My late husband, Shoppor Pamshong, began laying the foundation of our home with the little he had earned as a mason. Unfortunately, due to his health, he couldn’t complete it before passing away last year.”
Balakyntiew continued, her voice tinged with gratitude, “The Association’s assistance has provided us with a shelter without any financial burden. I can only pray for their well-being and happiness, as they selflessly sacrificed their working hours to help us, the less fortunate.”
She further disclosed that while some construction materials were donated by the Association, others had been procured during her husband’s lifetime. A few were also acquired through her own savings.
“All I can offer in return is to keep them in my prayers, and I fervently hope that they continue their noble work, extending aid to more families like ours in the days ahead,” she added, her words carrying the weight of heartfelt appreciation.
Their narrative resonated with the echoes of a forgotten tale by TS Arthur titled Helping The Poor, underlining the profound relief and joy derived from helping others. The chronicle of these daily-wage workers stood as a poignant reminder to the affluent about the obligation, not just a desire, to extend a hand to those less fortunate.
In a world where it’s easy to avert the gaze of the needy despite possessing abundance, they (the UMA) show us the value of compassion. Their story reverberates as a potent, practical call to action, urging each person to contribute, regardless of size, to the well-being of others. For, in the act of helping, they discovered that nothing is too inconsequential when it comes to making a difference in the lives of those in need.