Naveen Kumar with a shield
For Erode-based private Engineering College professor P Naveen Kumar, rescuing, supporting and rehabilitating people is top priority. He even made some of them as entrepreneurs.
The corona pandemic rendered many job less. Particularly poor, destitute to the most. With unemployment and salary cuts, people could not pay their monthly rent which forced them to get shelter at road side. Seeking food from others and provisions has inevitable for them.
This 26 year-old - full time Professor Naveen Kumar, told Organiser “there is a rise in destitute people during the Covid lock down times. We are running Atchayam trust along with five of my collage class mates. Our motto is to create a ’Beggar-free Bharat’. I have been working for their rehabilitation for the past 7 years. I have been able to provide 5,500 beggars counselling, medical treatment, food and other necessities. 552 rehabilitated persons are working in private organisations. Some of them are reunited with families and few elderly are admitted in old age homes”.
He said “I come from a very poor background. My father was handicapped. I used to get ten rupees for dinner which I gave it to the beggars I saw. I could not sleep because of my hunger. My peers at college would not allow me into their house, as I was saving and helping beggars. They even started calling mean arm seeker. They humiliated me and treated me like an untouchable”. He helps people to get jobs besides imparting skill training to stand on their own feet and start a new life. “One K Venkataraman, who was spending his days begging near temples and sleeping on railway platforms eight months, is now an entrepreneur. He is now owning a mobile tea shop. Earlier he was an alcoholic. His wife, son and parents discarded him. He was straying at roads waiting for half burnt cigarettes or food with soiled and torn cloths. He was denied jobs. He was beaten. We have brought him to our home, provided him haircut, new clothes and did medical checkup. After counselling, now he owns a mobile tea shop” explained Naveen Kumar. He said that their idea was to give them a chance at life. Some of the beggars turned out to be businessmen who had lost everything or people with mental health issues or thrown out by families. Through him some of the rescued people got jobs as security guards and handymen. Some like Venkatraman were given bicycles and funding to set up tea shops which gives them a sense of pride. Now Venkataraman is united with his family. He works as a painter as well.