HEART TO HAND: MEET THE CITY’S HUNGER HERO
Weekends offer a welcome break for many. But, on a Saturday morning, 46-year-old Raja Sethu Murali is on his way to Nallampalayam to meet a man who wants to contribute Rs.4,500 to one of Murali' s numerous social causes. Murali has been providing nutritious food to poor patients and their attenders at the government hospital (GH) for almost four years.
"But, in 2017, we discovered that many under serving people grabbing the lunch and it wasn't reaching truly needy people, so we decided to stop serving food there," says Murali who has been getting sponsors for the social causes. People in the orthopedic ward required walkers, others needed adult diapers. Many patients who are in the GH for months can't afford proper clothes," he says.
Murali has donated around 34 walkers so "We visit the GH four times a week and give patients’ milk, biscuits and fruits. At least once every alternate month, we distribute clothes and dresses," he says. What’s Murali makes a Good Samaritan out of almost even one he meets. '"I use the money I earn from the two auto rickshaws I drive and rent. But many people want to donate a meal, grocery or something else to people in need. They donate money or sponsor a meal on special occasions. People also give us excess food made for weddings or birthdays," he says, adding that they also donate stationery and groceries to poverty ridden families, ' 'Many donors are agricultural labourers, factory, auto rickshaw and cab drivers, and owners of small shops.
“Murali now takes food to villages on the city's outskirts, where many families cannot afford to have three meals a day "I identify them with the help of people I know in the villages. I have reached out to villages in Thondamuthur, Sulur, Kinathukidavu, Sundakkamuthur, Kulathupalayam, and Somanur," he says. "Now, I often connect donors to some responsible villagers, so that they can coordinate and carry out the good work even when I am not available." he adds Many donors are agricultural laborers, factory workers, auto rickshaw and cab drivers, and owners of small shops Raja sethu Murali, AUTORICKSHAW DRIVER ridden family and check if they truly require help. If so, the rest of evening will be spent buying groceries for them. On Sunday when he delivers the groceries to the needy family, Murali will take the donors along.
An auto rickshaw driver, Murali started ‘Pasiyara Soru' in 2008, to ensure that needy people do not go hungry. "I remember battling hunger during my childhood and teenage years. My mother, the sole breadwinner, had to feed five children," says Murali. Who began getting people to sponsor meals for orphans? Abandoned senior citizens, HIV affected people whether patients have other requirements. “After speaking to A Soundaravel, resident medical officer at the GH, Murali realized that patients required many other things to keep their dignity.