Growing up, for most of us, receiving gifts from Santa Claus--even if we knew they were from our parents--was undoubtedly the best part of Christmas.
But since 2014, this young man from Mumbai has kept alive the true spirit of Christmas even as an adult, by dressing up as Santa and spreading a little cheer to help those less fortunate.
Humans of Bombay shared the story of Mumbai's not-so-secret Santa who, inspired by a video of doctors dressing up as Santa and cheering patients in the cancer ward, started to do the same for children residing on the streets.
Slowly, it turned into an annual ritual where he would save up the whole year just to dress up as Santa for that one day, and visit government hospitals, slum areas, etc. to gift toys to children and essentials, like blankets, soaps, etc. to people in need.
I began saving from the beginning of every year. Every bonus I got from work, I put towards buying essentials like soaps and blankets–I’d pack them into gift boxes. As Santa Claus, I gave the gift boxes to families in Dharavi. ‘Beta, humara kharcha bohot bacha liya,’ was a response most of them had. Once, a single mother of 4 cried as she blessed me; when she said, ‘Jeete raho’, it was a feeling like no other
However, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, he decided to go a step further and became the Santa with a mask.
From educating people about the need for good hygiene to distributing masks and sanitizers, he came a Covid warrior for one day. And it didn't stop just there.
He reached out to the local police station and offered to help any way he could. That's how he became a part of the task force sanitizing buses, autos, etc. For all his efforts, the DCP decided to honor him with a certificate for ‘Outstanding Social Service’. But, that wasn't his reason for doing this.
His reason was what the spirit of Christmas, and in fact, the guiding force of any religion, is all about - spreading happiness and being kind.
I’m doing it because when I give a stranger a small gift, the smile that they get on their face is blinding. Their joy is immeasurable–and that’s my purpose. I don’t need a ‘thank you’– all I’m asking is for everyone to help bring some happiness in the world in their own little way.
You can read the complete post here:
All images from the Instagram page of Humans of Bombay.