Cuttack: There are several people living around us in front of whom we automatically bow our heads as a sign of respect. Shyam Chacha, who is living in Samantarapur area of Cuttack district, is one such person. Not his name alone, his heart is also filled with love and devotion for Lord Jagannath.
Shyam Chacha may be a blind person and Muslim, but bhajan on the culture of Lord Jagannath has become the first priority in his life, due to which many call him the present Salabega of Cuttack district.
All together Shyam Chacha is a poet, writer, and musician. This apart, he is an electrical technician and you will be surprised to know that he used to repair the electrical things without any mistake.
Shyam Chacha is blind since his childhood. He took admission at Bhubaneswar-based Kala Vikash Kendra in 1934. However, he returned back to home due to financial crisis. But, during his short stay in the institute, he came across Bhikari Charan Bal, better known as Bhajan Samrat, and learned bhajans on the culture of Lord Jagannath. Since then he has been singing such songs.
When asked the reason behind his interest in the Jagannath bhajans, Shyam Chacha said, “If I am created by the Lord Jagannath why should I not worship his name? I have no other option but only recite his bhajans.”
“Whenever I sing the Jagannath bhajans I forget that I am a Muslim and singing bhajans of Lord Jagannath. I have never thought that there is any difference between Allah and Lord Jagannath. Whenever I sing Jagannath bhajans I think that both Lord Jagannath and Allah are the same and Lord Jagannath is with me, which I can sing bhajans,” he added.
Shyam Chacha has grown so old now that he can hardly do any work to earn money to look after his four-member family. He is in a state of mental pressure as his daughter and son are yet to get married. He used to somehow earn money by repairing electrical items but now he lacks physical strength to do so.
Time and again he had approached the concerned officials to get some help from the State government but his cry went unheard. Shyam Chacha now says that he can get some relief if the State government issues a house under any scheme and provides him some pension.