Servant of the Suffering
The sense of service shown by Lalaji
and his devoted endeavor to help the poor, the downtrodden and those in
difficulties bestowed lustre on his multifarious exertions. A terrible
famine struck the Central Provinces in 1896. The draught shook people.
No one can forget the part played by Lalaji at the time. Orphans and the
destitute were at the mercy of the Christian missionaries and were being
converted to Christianity. Lalaji began
a movement to help the orphans. He
saved 250 orphan children from Jabalpur, Bilaspur and other districts,
brought them to Punjab and admitted them to the orphanages of the Arya
Samaj.He realized that he did not have sufficient time for both social
service and legal practice; so in 1898 he reduced his legal practice. In
1899 a worse famine struck Punjab, Rajasthan,Kathiawad and Central Provinces.
Again Lalaji led the movement by the Arya Samaj to save helpless children.
It was a trying time for him. He organized
an extraordinary movement. Not only were 2,000 helpless persons saved but
they were also provided with food, clothing, education and employment.
In this movement sometimes there were clashes with Christian missionaries.
Government set up a famine relief commission in 1901 and got Lalaji's views.
His account of famine conditions and his views led to a change in the government's
attitude to the destitute. Hindus and people of other religions were able
to establish orphanages for destitute children of their folds.
In 1905 an occasion arose for Lalaji
to dive deper into another matter. There was an earthquake in Kangra district
resulting in enormous loss of life and property. The Arya Samaj of Lahore
set up a relief committee, As its secretary Lalaji toured Punjab province
extensively and collected money for the committee. His service to the people
at that time was unforgettable.