A couple of months back I remodeled my living room. We hired a contractor to do the painting work. Typically how the contractor earns his living is by taking a percentage on the labor he employees. He charges us, Rs120/ person/day. He would pay Rs100 for the painter and earns a commission of Rs20 per person. The work at my house was completed in a week’s time. A couple of days later, we wanted to hire him for another work in my husband’s office. It was then we discovered that he died of a heart attack. I was shocked. He was a pretty young guy, in his early forties.
This week my husband told me a very heartening piece of news. All the people whom the contractor employed have decided to pay Rs20 out of their daily wages to the family of the deceased man for the next six months. When you are earning Rs100 a day, Rs20 is a huge amount isn’t it? I felt, it was a truly magnanimous gesture.
Then there was a news item this week of man in Madurai who feeds 250 destitutes everyday. I had read this story couple of months back in ‘The Hindu’. Krishnan was a catering graduate and was about to leave for a training in Switzerland. One afternoon, as he was cycling down the streets of Madurai, he saw destitute man eating his own waste. He was so shocked by the scene. He bought a few iddlis from the nearby shop and gave it to him. This incident turned out to be the turning point of his life. He quit his job and started distributing food to destitutes. He used to cycle down the roads of Madurai and hand them food packets. When he started in 2002, he used to cook in his mother’s kitchen all by himself and distribute food to 40 people everyday. He said, “I wanted to feed them what I ate, not some low quality stuff”.
Today he feeds more than 250 people everyday. Initially his parents were shocked that he gave up a lucrative job to do this but now they are proud of him. Krishnan claims that not a single meal has been missed so far. “My family or friends step in if I am ill or away,” he says. “If I leave them hungry for a day, they will again return to garbage bins” . He also helps in cremating the dead.
For more details you can refer to this article which was published in The Hindu on June 4th . If you want to help Krishnan in his mission, he can be reached at these numbers 0452-4353439 and +919843319933
The more I get to hear such stories, the more I feel, you need not be wealthy to be charitable. All it requires is a large heart.