Last night I went with a friend to a South Asian Networking Gala that was organized by a group at work. There was an interesting line-up of speakers and entertainment, there was good food, and getting the chance to meet and talk to some new people was great.
The highlight of the night was when Rahul Singh came on stage to give a speech. What started out as a light-hearted talk ended up being emotionally moving for an entire audience, and Rahul left the stage to a standing ovation.
Rahul is the founder of DMGF, a non-profit organization that goes around the world to help people who are in need of disaster relief. Immediately after news of a disaster reachers their network, DMGF sends out an emergency response team made of firefighters, EMS personnel, and police officers who travel on their own dime (and using their own vacation time) to the country in need. Once in a disaster location, the team rushes to provide clean water, medical care, and save victims from buildings and homes that have been destroyed. They also try to provide that local community with the skills and supplies needed to continue on after the team leaves.
On top of all of that, the organization tries to send out medical packages and training to third world countries, and teams have gone overseas to help train people to locate and handle mines. DMGF has worked with war relief, hurricane relief, flood relief, earthquake relief, tsunami relief, and more. The team has traveled to Sudan, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Guatemala, Grenada, Iran, Sri Lanka, Guyana, Cambodia, Nepal, Mexico, Thailand, and most recently: Lebanon.
DMGF tries its hardest to minimize costs and ensure that the majority of the money that is donated goes to aid. This is why no one in that organization gets paid. That money is better spent on helping someone survive.
What really got to me was that these people spend every day of their lives trying to save people in their local community. They work hard to get through cultural and language difficulties to help people. And then, when something disastrous happens around the world, they immediately start to put together a plan of action to help even more people. They take time off from work and using their own money, fly there to help save lives. They must work through some of the most intense conditions but they do it because they know that humans, other humans just like you and me, need that help.
Without their help, so many more people would die. I know there are many organizations out there that do many things to help people around the world, but this story in particular really struck me. When something disastrous happens – whether it be a tsunami or war – knowing that people from around the world actually care and would want to help me, would make me fight even more to get through it. It would give me renewed hope about the world and the people in it.
People like Rahul Singh and his team inspire me so much that I can’t really express it in words.