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11 Dec 2019, Edition - 1611, Wednesday

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Coimbatore

NGO team gives a taste of celebration to street dwellers and destitutes

Umaima Shafiq

Eera Nenjam took Diwali celebrations to people who had no one to care for them. We gave them haircuts, bathed them, dressed them in new clothes and fed them hot food, said the founder.

Eera Nenjam Trust, an NGO established in 2012 at RS Puram, Coimbatore that runs a government-certified shelter for the aged, mentally ill and destitute, celebrated its Diwali in a unique way this year.

P Mahendiran, the founder/trustee of Eera Nenjam tells The Covai Post, “Diwali is a multi-cultural festival irrespective of religions. Everybody can celebrate it, wear new clothes, eat sweets, burst crackers and be happy with family and friends. However many people living on the street and pavements are too ill, mentally challenged and too weak even to beg, or are too old and without help. They cannot buy anything either new dresses or sweets. We felt that such people also deserved Diwali, so we decided to find and give them a taste of the celebrations.”

He led a three-member team and located around 50 such persons mostly near the Government Hospital, Railway Station and other areas between RS Puram and Singanallur.

“We gave them haircuts, bathed them, dressed them in new clothes and fed them hot food. We started at around 7 am in the morning and ended in the afternoon at 3 pm. Nearly 10 passersby also joined as volunteers with us. This was on October 26. Then on Diwali day, we had special prayers in our Eera Nenjam home for the rescue of Sujith, the 2-year-old boy who had fallen into an unused bore well near Tiruchi. We deferred all other celebrations, one for the safe rescue and secondly because hundreds of people covering media, government officers, ministers, policemen, district administration, villagers, neighbours, army, disaster relief forces and others had foregone their Diwali to take part in the rescue operations,” said Mahendiran.

“They had left their families for Sujith’s life, so we wanted extend our support, even if we couldn’t go there personally. We conducted special prayers after news of his death also,” concluded Mahendiran.

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