Dudavas (Rajasthan): For Rao Kabool Singh, a World War Two veteran who turned 100 this
weekend, it has been a life of service with the army man choosing
to take up the cause of the downtrodden in rural areas after
retiring in 1962.
Setting up a hospital in Dudavas, a village in Rajasthan's Jaipur
district, is his latest achievement. While the hospital was built
by his grandsons Madan Mohan and Krishan Mohan, who run a
successful car rental service, it was the centurion who conceived
"We have some lands in this village and used to come here. Babaji
(Kabool Singh) saw the plight of the people and expressed his
desire to establish a hospital in the village," Madan Mohan said.
Kabool Singh hails from the state's Alwar district and retired as
havildar. He first served in the Army Supply Corps and later in
the 13 Kumaon regiment.
Besides healthcare, Kabool Singh has campaigned against gender
bias, child marriage and denial of education to girls in rural
areas and the sense of service towards society seems to have been
passed down the generations with Kabool Singh's grandsons being
equally involved in his social work.
"Today, we have fulfilled our grandfather's dream. However, our
connection with this region goes beyond that. We have already
adopted two government schools and plan to extend the support to
other schools," Mohan added.
According to Mohan, the hospital will soon have two doctors and a
gynaecologist besides the paramedical staff. "This is just a
start, we plan to upgrade it to 30 beds very soon. Also, we will
install an X-ray machine and we hope the hospital will begin
functioning within two months," he said.
The importance of the 15-bed hospital is evident for this remote
village nestled amid the rolling Aravali hills. With no proper
healthcare facilities available, the villagers had to traverse
several kilometres of bad roads to reach the nearest towns in case
of medical emergencies.
"Earlier, we had no facilities except the anganwadi worker for
childbirth and a small ayurvedic clinic. Anything serious, and we
would rush to Paota or Kotputli," Ashok, a villager, told IANS.
Rajasthan Health Minister Aimaduddin Ahmad Khan congratulated
Kabool Singh on his 100th birthday May 19 and lauded his
humanitarian efforts before inaugurating the hospital amid much
"I hope people would take inspiration from Rao Sahib's life. He
first spent the active years of his life in the army, serving the
nation, and now he spends time in social service," he said.
Kabool Singh, despite being weak due to a recent illness and
seated in a wheelchair, went through every section of the
newly-constructed building with the guests.
Besides Ahmed and local bureaucrats, senior army officials and
members of the Rezang La Shaurya Samiti were also present at the
According to family members, Kabool Singh has always had great
respect for the martyrs of the Battle of Rezang La pass in Ladakh
in the 1962 war and maintains close contact with the organisation,
which commemorates the battle and its martyrs.
(Nikhil Walia can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)