26 May People with passion: Daulat Singh
Our 2012 Development Associates underwent a training session on our 2020 Vision for the school. We showed them our message of People, Passion and Potential. Hazel Ebenezer, one of our new associates in journalism went out into our Woodstock community and found an employee who is the epitome of the people and the passion of this community. Enjoy her first article.
Interviewing someone is made out to be a relatively easy process. It involves at least two individuals, one questioning and the other answering to the best of their ability (or so the questioner hopes.) Generally, a time is set aside for this purpose with a set of questions in mind or at hand. That is how it goes. But, during the past week, as I tried to extract an interview out of Mr.Daulat Singh, I realised that it’s just not that simple. Between finding a suitable time for the interview, rescheduling at the nth minute and explaining to the article photographer why today wouldn’t work either (thank you for understanding Fuse) I realised, more than I ever had before, just how valuable and relied upon this particular member of our community is.
Everyone, every day, leaves a mark on the people they meet, and contributes to their life in some way. If it’s of the guard that chases the monkeys away or about that teacher who refuses to ever give an A, their story is always told but who knows the story of the man behind the wheel?
Mr. Daulat Singh has been a driver at Woodstock for 38 years. Sporting a partially grey beard, multiple laugh lines defining his face and an easy, wide smile – Mr. Daulat as he is known can always be found either near his trademark jeep or driving staff and students around in it. The amount of time he has spent offering his services to this school can’t be calculated and the years he has devoted are more than our young lifetimes for many of us. Yet, he has seen and done a lot before settling in this little town nestled up against the Himalayas.
Coming from a simple Christian, Indian family in Patna, he found his first job to be that of an army mechanic for the duration of three years. Then, after working as a mechanic in Delhi for a while, he finally decided to settle down with the calm and scenic tones of Mussoorie, arriving here in ’78. He was a house-to-house mechanic in Mussoorie until Mr. Bob Alter, the principal at the time, offered him a job which he accepted, to the joy of both parties. Until about 20 years ago, Mr. Daulat was the schools only driver and his job title included small trips to the hospital every day to long journeys with students to Delhi both planned and unexpected.
He soon became a trusted and integral part of the Woodstock community and built a strong and long lasting bond with the staff and employees that he has worked with. When asked what Woodstock had done for him over these numerous years, he told me that he didn’t know where to begin – he felt most grateful that this school had provided for his kids and the secure future they had because of that. As a matter of fact, his daughter – Ms. Kiran Singh – is currently a staff member and a great addition to the community, another contribution amongst the many that Mr. Daulat has provided. When the question was turned around and he was asked what he did for the community, out of the many things that he could mention, the only one that he did say was that he prayed for Woodstock. And what more could we hope for but the sincere prayers of a man that has truly earned the respect and trust of this community?
Photo by Development Associate, (photographer) Phuriwat Chiraphisit