Many of us would have seen poor and sick people on the streets. But have any one of us even cared to give them a second look?!

Here was a man in his early twenties, who had just finished his Bachelor’s in Hotel Management & Catering Science. One day he was driving his car down a bridge near Central Bus Stand in Madurai – a temple-town in South India. Least did he know that the next few moments would change his entire life for good.

The young man saw a heart-wrenching condition of an old man eating his own excreta. Without a second thought he went to a near by hotel and got 10 idlis and sambar. He went to the old man and opened the packet of food, offering it to him. The old man gobbled up the whole food in a matter of 10 seconds! Such was his hunger. Once he finished the food, the old man just walked away without thanking the young man. There were tears in the old man’s eyes.

This episode left an indelible impression on the young man. All that he thought from then on was to how to feed the mentally ill and very old people abandoned in the streets of Madurai. He started to feed some people in his surrounding locality. He instantly rejected the idea of going to Switzerland.

Mr. N Krishnan, our young man of 27, then went on to start the Akshaya Trust, which feeds the mentally ill and very old people. He would prepare the food himself, sticking to the highest standards of quality.

He then saw that no barber was willing to cut the hair of these people, so he enrolled himself for a hair-dressing course, got certified and he started cutting the hair of the mentally sick.

Being from a high Brahmin caste his activities were opposed by his parents. He decided to take his father and mother along with him to his daily feeding trip. Seeing the sight of hungry poor feeding on the food brought by his son, his mother said “If you keep on feeding the poor like this everyday, I will see to it that I will feed you till my last breath”. His parents were very happy.

To top this, he has even cremated around 40 old people who have died on the street.

It is amazing to know that the poor have been offered meals daily and this has been going on from June 2003 without a break. From September, 2007 about 200 people are fed 3 times daily, costing around Rs.8000 per day.

Apart from Krishnan, Akshaya team now consists of one cook, two assistants, two maids, two drivers.

And this is not where he stopped. Mr. Krishnan has found that several elderly, sick and infirm people have been left on the road and uncared for. Krishnan has thought of building the Akshaya Home to shelter the aged and mentally ill homeless. Land has been purchased and registered for this purpose.

All in all, what we can learn from this man is immense. Living in this 21st century we have forgotten the basic love for our fellow humans. Isn’t it our basic responsibility to help persons in need, especially the ones who are old and mentally unstable?

Below are few videos which shows one man’s dream to feed the poor. (These videos almost brought me into tears)

http://www.youtube.com/v/A5pRuJlShtg&hl=en&fs=1

Akshaya Trust CNN TV Show Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/v/6q4-zrGoWGg&hl=en&fs=1

Akshaya Trust TV Show CNN Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/v/gA0I2fIhekI&hl=en&fs=1

Akshaya trust TV Show on Raj TV (This is in Tamil language)

http://www.youtube.com/v/3tcWs6P4zf4&hl=en&fs=1

If anyone is interested in donating, kindly look at the details below:

Donations can be remitted in any branch of ICICI Bank in India favouring
Akshaya’s Helping in H.E.L.P. Trust
ICICI Bank Ltd.,
Kochadai Branch, Madurai-625010
S.B.Account No.601 701 013 912

And a final word from Mr. Krishnan himself which I felt was very motivating. He says “Definitely there is a Krishnan in every village, every town and every city; all that we need to do is motivate him and get him out. If this happens our world would be a better place for everyone to live”. Well said Mr. Krishnan. You have indeed brought out a Krishnan in many of us.

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