In this great and big world, we see so little .How many of us actually know about a small town somewhere harboring people like you and me (without using Google). We live in uncertainty until things unfold, and sometimes we happen to discover new places, new faces and an environment which might be completely different than how we a used to think about them or not think about them at all.
Abba Matloob, another man among million other men, who has lived his life, working, making a family in Saharanpur. It may be a new place to many of us, at least to me it was. And Abba Matloob was stranger was to me until I had to document his work for one of our case studies.To begin with , He had volunteered in various WASH activities conducted by FORCE at Saharanpur, and I was told how efficient he has proved to be mobilizing his resources and timely wisdom.
I was more than eager to meet him, and discover how passionate and energetic someone can be to devote his life at this age to social work. Then i learned , he is no more.Old Age spares no one. I wanted to know so many things from him.But he wasn't present anymore to answer my queries.But the trace of his work, was visible, good work indeed is immortal and ageless.
Famously known as Abba Matloob in his locality, this man earned this name with his dedicated social work and his effective leadership. Born in 1948, Abba Matloob migrated to Saharanpur from Ambestapeer, UP.So he lived his last days in Sahranpur,and that is where we went to interview his son and know more about this old man.
We reached his small house; we were welcomed by his youngest son Marghoob Ahmad, with an open heart. He began talking about him with a shaky voice.It was obvious he is holding up his emotions,and might break into tears any time.
Marghoob Ahmad told us that With little or no education, Abba Matloob had worked in brick kiln for many years till his health deteriorated. But this never controlled his passion to work for the community. He was actively participating in plethora of social work activities. Be it creating awareness of pulse polio, or helping poor with ration card or helping widows to get their pensions. He talked about his father with pride and told us that Abba Matlooob was even recognized for his social work In 7 countries such as Malaysia, Sudan, and Nigeria ! i wasn't surprised now why FORCE identified a leader in him.
What I could collect from the people who lived and worked with Abba Matloob is he was a dedicated Indian and exemplary leader. He knew how to use power appropriately, and work within established opportunities. Driven by the passion of helping his community to improve their Hygiene habits and quality of life, Abba matloob had eagerly cooperated with FORCE and ITC Limited in making people aware of Solid Waste Management. He knew how to mobilize the community, how to make them listen.He had helped FORCE to arrange street plays and meetings to create awareness about cleanliness and one would often hear him say “Cleanliness is half the faith of Muslim “.
With a thought of carrying Honorable Prime minister’s vision of Swach Bharat Abhiyaan forward, he had joined the FORCE’S vision and mission and got involved in problem solving, decision making and planning. In our dictionary we call such a person “Powerful stakeholder”. Being a president of Mohalla committee, he had many resources and contacts which FORCE utilized for the solid waste management cause in Saharanpur. Be it a contact of someone from Municipal Corporation, or some local politician or a common waste picker. He had a power to make people listen and make them follow a path towards development.
Survived by his wife and 8 children, Abba matloob died on February 8 -2017 but had left an impression in everyone’s life. He continues to be source of inspiration not only to his community people but also the local leaders. Abba Matloob didn’t need any “How to be a Good Leader” Self –help book to be quality leader. As Rashid Ansari, a community leader in his own right praised Abba Matloob quoted him saying “he had built such a rapport that I would have to report to him if community needed something. He would help me with elections and he would make me help him with community social work “.
Abba Matloob's story unfolded words of wisdom ,and i learnt life long lesson from an old man with white beard and black cap on his head, about whom Google will show “no result found”.