Hindu Volunteer Passes On

Hindu Volunteer Passes On
Photo : Volunteers of Hindu Seva Sangh. Rajesh Jagdeo is dressed in red

Rajesh Jagdeo, a Swayamsevak or volunteer with the Hindu Seva Sangh, died and his body was cremated on Tuesday 5th February, 2019 at the Waterloo Cremation Site. He was suffering from heart diseases since birth but within the last two years his condition became life threatening. He was 50 years old.

His mother requested me to say a few words on Rajesh’s involvement in the Hindu Seva Sangh. I was no stranger to the family. His younger siblings, Adesh and Sharda, also attended the Sangh’s Youth Development Camps and were active in the programs of the Sangh at all levels.

The funeral service was performed by Pandit Charlie Rambally, a resident of Bejucal and one who remembered Rajesh in the lower classes at primary school. The Pandit described Rajesh as “someone who would always extend courtesies by saying ‘Sita Ram’ and ‘How are you?’  He was always soft spoken and his conversation was brief.”

Hereunder is my brief message delivered at the funeral service on the life of Rajesh, a friend, a guide and a worker for dharma:

“Sita Ram. In the mid-1980s the Hindu Seva Sangh launched a series of youth development camps that brought Hindu youths together from various parts of the country. Through this forum I met Rajesh.

Rajesh was always a quiet person. In meetings he said very little. He was not used to voicing his opinion in open forums. Rajesh was soft spoken and a man of few words. I soon discovered that Rajesh had a skill to get along with all.

Rajesh had a few valuable skills that he shared with the Sangh. He was a good cook and contributed a lot in the kitchen. He was a good driver and would usually go on errands to make purchases for the kitchen. He also used his car to transport Hariji, the founder of the Sangh, to meetings and other social and religious events.

I would have never known that Rajesh had a heart condition if I was not told. Physically he was strong. I remember Rajesh engaging in a friendly bout of wrestling with a fellow camper. Rajesh defeated the individual twice. Hoping that he would defeat Rajesh the loser insisted on a third bout and was again defeated.

Rajesh was an excellent Kabadi player. He was both strong and swift. He had the ability to quickly raid the enemy camp and return to base.

Our camp had an internal security arrangement. Rajesh would generally accept the dead man’s shift – 2 to 4 am. In most cases Rajesh would voluntarily stay awake the entire night to ensure the safety and security of the camp.

While Rajesh was quiet and not known for wrong doing, his association with Pilot and some others led to mischiefs. The last night of our camp was dubbed “Open House.” This allowed youths to engage in fun in the open hall-singing, dancing, telling stories and sharing jokes. This was not enough for some of the boys. They would use the last night to rub toothpaste and other creams and liquids on others while they were fast asleep. Toothpaste was not enough for Rajesh and Pilot. They brought tractor crease and it was only one man who would have access to tractor crease and allowed some of the more chul chul boys to have it!

Another fun side of Rajesh was eating doubles. Rajesh and Pilot would usually stop by a doubles vendor and eat 10 to 15 doubles each and drink two coconuts. One doubles vendor challenged them-“If anyone eat 10 of my doubles he don’t have to pay.” Pilot questioned the vendor: “Uncle u sure?”  After they had eaten 8 each and still going strong Pandit Beeshram paid for the doubles and warned the doubles vendor: “Be careful who you make bets with.”

Rajesh was a farmer by profession. He attended numerous courses at ECIAF and developed much knowledge and skills. He came to my home and assisted me in planting seasoning and ornamental plants in buckets. He also assisted the late Niranjan Bhaggan in the establishment of a Green House at his residence in Lange Park.

Rajesh was also knowledgeable of music. He studied music with the BVS and played the harmonium, sitar and tabla. He also read Hindi. All of these skills he acquired in his teen years at the Bejucal Hindu Mandir.

I want to join with the other members of the Sangh in wishing Rajesh a safe journey to his destination and I am certain that we are going to meet again in the near future.”

Rajesh has left to mourn his two daughters, mother, brother, sister, aunts, uncles and a host of friends. May Bhagwan always be with him.