Well, it’s all easy to get 9-5 job earning grands/month, but the difficult part is turning the money down and standing up for poor souls. That’s why this man intrigues me very much, man of this story.
So, who exactly is Narayanan Krishnan ? Well, he was a intelligent, young award winning chef in a five star hotel group, Taj Hotels and was short-listed for an elite job in Switzerland. Krishnan was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
His story entirely changed, when he gave an visit to his family, before heading to Europe. His own words, "I saw a very old man, literally eating his own human waste out of hunger. I went to the nearby hotel and asked them what was available. They had idli, which I bought and gave to the old man. Believe me, I had never seen a person eating so fast, ever. As he ate the food, his eyes were filled with tears. Those were the tears of happiness.”
Krishnan was visiting a temple in his hometown in late 2002 when he saw the man under a bridge. He quit his job within a week and returned to home with decision of his idea, to serve the society.
Later, in 2003, he founded Akshaya Trust. He served more than 1.25 million meals to homeless and destitute abandoned people.
He said, "That spark and that inspiration is a driving force still inside me as a flame -- to serve all the mentally ill destitute and people who cannot take care of themselves,"
His day begins at 4 a.m. He and his team, roam in a donated van, daily 125 miles, in areas where temperature is as high as 38-40C. He finds the homeless poor souls under bridges, crannies between the city’s temple. He delivers, simple and tasty hot vegetarian meal, which he personally prepares,packs and he himself feeds to them.
"Because of the poverty India faces, so many mentally ill people have been ... left uncared [for] on the roadside of the city," he said.
He also carries a comb, scissors and razor and he himself shaves them. He serves those people who don’t even know their own name or have capacity to to beg, ask for mercy or return thanks.
"The panic, suffering of the human hunger is the driving force of me and my team members of Akshaya," he said. "I get this energy from the people. The food which I cook ... the enjoyment which they get is the energy. I see the soul. I want to save my people."
It costs him around 15000 per day, but the donations only cover 22 days a month. Rest of the money he subsidizes by the money which he receives in a monthly rent from a home his grandpa gave him.
"They had a lot of pain because they had spent a lot on my education," he said. "I asked my mother, 'Please come with me, see what I am doing.' After coming back home, my mother said, 'You feed all those people, the rest of the lifetime I am there, I will feed you.' I'm living for Akshaya. My parents are taking care of me."
Due to lack of donations, his next project, Akshaya Home, where he can provide shelter for the people.
"Now I am feeling so comfortable and so happy," he says. "I have a passion, I enjoy my work. I want to live with my people."
Due to his vision and huge dedication towards helping the needs, he has been selected for CNN Heroes 2010. And he deserves it.
All he says is, “I want to save my people, that is the purpose of my life”
His interview :
His speech at a fund raising play in NJ :
Help this great man here – Akshaya Trust
Source : Kannada newspaper daily – Vijay Karnataka, Wikipedia and CNN Heroes Page