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Monday, October 25, 2010

Akshaya Patram - continuous service to mankind - the story of Madurai Man : Narayanan Krishnan

Thiruvalluvar  says that ‘all the wealth acquired with perseverance BY THE WORTHY is for the benevolence of the needy.  Well this man is proving Thiruvalluvar by his deeds.
Have you heard of Efren Geronimo PeƱaflorida Jr. or Liz McCartney -  this man would soon join that elite list.   Of course that would only be a recognition from beyond – he is already living a life most worthy of adoration if not emulation.

The mythological vessel ‘akshaya pathram’ is belived to have possessed mystic powers of supplying uninterrupted food.  In the modern world, either many of those vessels or some more of this noble man are required to ensure that poor also live in peace getting some food everyday. 

CNN Heroes – an All Star Tribute is an annual television special created by CNN to honour individuals who make extraordinary contributions to help others.  It started in 2007 and is going great guns.  Over the course  of the year, viewers can nominate and vote for the heroes they want to nominate for recognition and honouring.   Recently on 23rd Sept 2010, the top  10 CNN Heroes for this year were revealed on CNN.com.  Selected by a Blue Ribbon Panel of humanitarians, profiles of the Top 10 Heroes are now available on www.CNNHeroes.com. The announcement also kicked off the online voting for the "CNN Hero of the Year" which opened immediately following the unveiling. Online voting will conclude at 3.30pm Indian Standard time on Thursday, November 18th.
Now in its fourth year, CNN Heroes is a multiplatform campaign that shines a spotlight on everyday people changing the world; in 2010, the campaign received over 10,000 submissions from more than 100 countries. All Top 10 CNN Heroes will each receive US$25,000 and will be honored at CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute, hosted by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper that will air on Friday November 26th at 5.30am Indian Standard time from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and replay at 2.30pm Indian Standard time. At the November gala, CNN will reveal the CNN Hero of the Year, who will receive an additional $100,000.
This year’s Panel Judges include : Muhammad Ali,  Ela Bhatt, founder of SEWA (Self-Employed Women's Association) and member of the Elders; Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneur, humanitarian and adventurer; Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, rapper, entrepreneur, actor; Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and CEO of Square; Hill Harper, actor, author, philanthropist; Patricia Heaton, actor, producer; Yo Yo Ma, Grammy-winning cellist; Ricky Martin, Grammy-winning artist, humanitarian; Apolo Anton Ohno, Olympic gold medalist in speed skating; Holly Robinson Peete, actress, author, activist and philanthropist; Alek Wek, model and designer and Rainn Wilson, actor.
This is CNN’s way of showing how social media can be used to tackle some of the world’s social challenges and issues. 
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Narayan Krishnan is a man with a difference. Certainly he is a man with a heart of Gold who goes round the divine city of Madurai with a pot of food.  He has founded Akshaya with a mission of committed care for helpless,  forsaken, mentally ill, old, sick, roadside destitute,  living and dying in the streets of Madurai - by providing healthy food, love and opportunity to rehabilitate, Restoring human dignity.
In this materialistic world, most of the fight is for acquiring more wealth, land, and other material things powered by greed and engineered by lack of satisfaction.  We  often complain of the indifferent attitude of the people and the raw deal that we deserve, when lesser souls get the better of us.  But when we step on the road, we become oblivious to the surroundings.  Whether you live in a metropolis or town or a village – you have poverty and downtrodden people lurking all around. Many a times it is not their fault or choice that they are what they are……..in this Great Nation, there are thousands whose lives simply are non-existent, despite all the free schemes, they starve and do not get the barest of the necessities. 

Narayan Krishnan dares to be different.  His is real life story of a young man discarding a coveted job to help the homeless, mentally ill and others in Madurai.   He takes special care of mentally challenged persons stating that they wont ask anyone for food or money.  He also says that he would not feed beggars as they can look after themselves.   For more than 85 months now, their lives have been different thanks to Krishnan who has been feeding hundreds of such people on the streets of Madurai – three times a day, all days throughout the year.  No holidays no impediments – this man with a mission serves humanity. 
His charity called the Akshaya Trust has a clean kitchen, neat vessels, quality ingredients, food made with love and passion, garnished and made tasty by this man, who was a chef of a 5 Star hotel in a city not long ago.    He says that he keeps changing the menu to ensure that the recipients do not get bored.    He cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner with the help of 2 others and takes them himself to the streets in a maruti van donated by a philanthropist.  Food and hygiene water – can anybody ask for more ?   He has the moral courage and mind to get near them, feed them and help them take the food. 
In a day’s life where we expect accolades from all possible quarters for every small thing done, get them recorded for future use – his routine is different and devoid of any thanks giving as his recipients often would not even understand the noble deed. 
The service is costly and he has put a lot of his own money apart from his selfless service.  They claim with pride that their accounts are maintained scrupulously to ensure that the hard earned money flows to the poor fulfilling his aim.    The Trust has been donated some acres of land and Krishnan hopes to build a home for his wards. 
If you are wonderstruck already – his service does not stop with food alone.  He also performs the funeral of unclaimed bodies – giving them a decent burial and honourable disposition. 
For those of  of us living materialistic existence would never be able to understand how and why a man would leave a plush job to be amongst mentally ill and bury the dead.  That is genius..
His charitable trust Akshaya has stepped into its 9th year in June 2010 – it has served over 1.5 million meals without break.    Here is their address :

Akshaya's Helping in H.E.L.P. Trust

9, West 1st
Main Street
, Doak Nagar Extension,

Madurai 625 010. India

Ph: +91(0)452 4353439/2587104 Cell:+91 98433 19933

E mail : ramdost@sancharnet.in
Regd : Doc no 197 / 2003 - Sub Registrar, Madurai-10
For more details you can visit :  www.akshayatrust.org

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Quite obviously he has been doing all this without any expectation of recompense just as the rain clouds help the mankind.  The good news is that  CNN has nominated Indian Narayanan Krishnan in the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2010.

A panel comprised of luminaries recognized for their own dedication to public service selected this year's top 10 CNN Heroes, according to CNN.com. The names were chosen from more than 10,000 nominations submitted by viewers in 100 countries. 
The nomination of the only Indian in the elitist panel reads “  Narayanan Krishnan brings hot meals and dignity to India's homeless and destitute - 365 days a year - through his nonprofit Akshaya Trust. Since 2002, he has served more than 1.2 million meals.”

Liz McCartney cofounded the  St Bernard Project in March 2006 to rebuild homes destroyed by  Hurricane Katrina  in New Orleans.  She was the 2008 Hero of the year.   Efren Geronimo PeƱaflorida Jr. is a teacher and social worker in the Philippines.   He is the founder and head of the Dynamic Teen Company, which offers Filipino youth an alternative to street gangs  through education, recreating school settings in unconventional locations such as cemeteries and trash dumps.    He was CNN Hero of 2009.

You may also visit :  CNN Vote  and cast your vote in favour of this suave person.  He certainly may not need your vote to continue his mission but we have a duty to ensure that our Hero stays on top of all and continues to inspire us.

Regards – S Sampathkumar. 

3 comments:

  1. Krishnan is a " HOLY SOUL " like Mother Teressa, an Angel in this Greedy World.

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  2. may your work continue ,i feel very happy and proud about you sir. GOD's grace will always be with you.... wish you long life..

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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