The primary task of my life is to serve the society beyond boundaries - reaching out people in all stratum of life.
A search for fulfilment
With this dynamic motto for his mission, 49 years old Mr. Raja Sethu Murali from Coimbatore district (now known as Koyampuththoor), Tamilnadu state, India is doing heart touching wonderful works of love and mercy to the poorest of the society by distributing free food and clothes to the villages in and around Coimbatore. The target of his mission is usually very poor and helpless people of the society.
His outward journey to the unnoticed of the society had its starting point at Koyampuththoor Government Hospital. He chose to serve people in the Government hospital because people may reach hospital in an emergency situation without taking the proper essentials and basic needs from home.
On the other side, they may not have anything at their homes. They may not have ample amount of money to pay for the medications provided. They may not have good ones too. He was providing food, clothes and essentials to the patients and their caretakers in the hospital. As days passed by, the hospital authorities did not allow him to continue his service. His thirst to serve, found no bounds. He looked for the other phases he could touch.
Charity begins at Home
With a flash of an idea, he found ways to resume his service to the poor. He started to do his service in his village and on other villages as well.
Trip down the memory lane: He was born of the family of seven in Kuniyamuthur in Koyampuththoor district. His parents were Mr. Krishnaswamy and Mrs. Valiammal. He has two elder brothers and two younger sisters. Considering the financial situation of the family, he stopped his schooling and looked for a job. As the months passed by he became a painter and then an auto driver.
Insightful inspiration begins with Mother
Murali discovered the joy of alleviating the pain of the poor by providing them with basic needs from the year 2000. As it is the fact of many places in India, his father was also a drunkard. The unrecognized iron lady of his home, like many of our homes, his mother was the sole breadwinner of the family, struggled hard to raise the 5 children.
Murali, studied at Kuniyamuthur Government School. He went to school just for the ‘Mid-Day Meal’ scheme where the children were provided lunch. The situations and hardships that he faced during his childhood for a day’s meal, provoked him to start a social service trust, ‘Pasiyaara Soru’ (probable translation - Feed the hungry). This trust provides food to the poor people.
He cooks, packs and loads the food into his own ‘blue-coloured’ auto-rickshaw and drives to the hospital. People in the hospital said that they would be waiting for the blue-coloured auto-rickshaw to come and fill their empty stomach of hunger pangs. This blue-coloured auto-rickshaw was presented to him by Rani from Bangalore as he was delivering food and clothes by going to places in a bicycle.
Covid-19 has locked down all of us in our homes but it couldn’t stop Murali from doing his social service. Even at the face of spreading pandemic virus, he along with the help of volunteers has distributed over 21 tonnes of rice to 4600 families in and around the Coimbatore district.
Basic needs to life-needs: upliftment of society through Education
Murali also extends his hands to the 10th standard students who are studying in Government schools of Koyampuththoor district. Though the government schools provide free education, there are children who could not get their basic needs for education. With the help of Headmasters and teachers of Government schools he identifies the studious unfortunate students who are not able to pursue education because of financial struggle of their family.
He makes them studious fortunate students by stretching out his generous hands to fulfil their educative needs - their fees, uniforms, books and all the essentials. He has been doing this greater service for the past 14 years. Thus he announces the whole world that family economic situation will not take away the life of the studious unfortunate students if we are ready to extend our hands a little.
Small initiatives can create a big world
He started this mission with the simple act of kindness that outgrow into an educative mission to touch thousands of the poor students. Hierarchy of needs initiated processing from basic needs of food and cloth to intellectual needs to bring change in the society.
Watching the service of this simple man with a big heart, Radio Veritas Tamil Service team explored the possibility of meeting and interviewing him in person. Due to lock down, we could only get him on call. In his interview, he said, “I started this journey with only 3 children from poor family background. Today I am able to help around 200 children from 42 government schools each year. I strongly believe that If the students are able to score well in the class 10, they will be able to do well in their future.”
A challenge for us to initiate simple acts of charity begins now
We salute the indefatigable spirit of Mr. Raja Sethu Murali. He modelled himself after the gospel values to provide the basic necessities of the poor and underprivileged people of the society with food, clothing, shelter and above all, education to the children. His service may be restricted to Koyampuththoor district as per his capacity. But then it is an open and compelling invitation to all of us to initiate a simple act of charity right from our family, neighbour, village, district, and country and world-wide. Are you ready to initiate the process? Good luck.
By Judit, RVA – Tamil Service.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.