Good samaritan on wheels

He may not be a celebrity, but he is a star in his own right — he goes the extra mile to show kindness and support to a girl battling a brain tumour.

Software engineer Venu Madhav Pendurthi has taken on a part-time job in addition to his challenging regular one, to provide financial support to 19-year-old Swaroopa, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Explaining how it all happened, Venu says, “I have a habit of surfing for news on YouTube. There I saw this video of a girl suffering from brain tumour and her parents pleading with the Telangana Government for either help or permission for mercy killing. Their sorrow and helplessness touched me. I thought I should help them. When I spoke to them, they said the estimated cost of treatment was around Rs 3 lakh. We managed to collect Rs 1.55 lakh.”

The heart grows tender when we extend ourselves beyond what’s expected. Venu started collecting donations from friends, relatives and colleagues. “But I could see that the target amount was beyond what we could get in the form of donations. Then I thought, what if I ask people outside my friends’ circle for funds? To do that I needed to interact with them; and that is when Rapido came to mind.”

A software professional working with TCS, Venu has been a captain with Rapido for the last nine months. “My main aim was to spread news of Swaroopa outside my personal circle, and for that I registered with Rapido,” he says. “I started telling people about Swaroopa to each and every one of my Rapido customers, and soon, help was on its way.” There are other unassuming people like Venu who epitomise the joy of offering assistance without expecting anything in return. “On learning about the financial situation of Swaroopa’s family, a TRS member had a talk with the hospital management and managed to bring down the cost of treatment from `3 lakh to `2.25 lakh. It made our work a little easier. We were able to raise funds and the surgery was done at the Max Cure Hospitals, Madhapur. Swaroopa is currently out of danger and recuperating,” says Venu.

So, how does this 25-year-old juggle his regular and part-time jobs? The soft-spoken Venu says, “My general shift timings are from 11 am to 8.30 pm. So, I have time from 6 am to 10 am and from 9 pm to 11 pm. I manage to take five to 10 rides a day. There are a few days when I am out on the roads till 1 am to reach my collection target. It is not about the money I get from Rapido rides, but the fact that I get to tell at least 5-10 people a day about Swaroopa. Either they donate or they pass on the news in their friends’ circles,” he explains.


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