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From Kerala to Karnataka: How Volunteers Made Lent Special for a Poor Man

It had been quite some time that Jagadeesh had even taken a bath. His hair and beard had also grown quite long and were a matted mass.

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For Christians across the globe, Lent is a solemn religious observance stretching over a period of 40 days, where believers commit to practices such as fasting, as well as giving up certain luxuries to replicate the sacrifice of the journey of Jesus Christ into the desert.

During this period, many people team up and volunteer in social and charitable activities, under which they provide free food, clothes and probably more for those living on streets.

In Thrissur, Kerala, one such volunteer group led by social activist Devassy Chittilappilly under the moniker ‘Karuna’ has been regularly engaging in various philanthropic deeds for some time now. During Lent, the group involves itself in helping the homeless and people living on streets by giving them food and a bath.

Nevertheless, nothing prepared them for the shock when they saw an old man, in a miserable state, eating food waste at a garbage dump yard at Velappaya, a village in the Thrissur district.

The Karuna team stepped in immediately and gave him a bath, haircut, shave, and some new clothes to wear.

For representational purposes. Source: Pixabay.

They then provided him with a generous meal, after which the poor man finally spoke. “I am Jagadeesh, belonging to Karnataka. I had left home, but now I want to go back,” he said.

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It had been quite some time that Jagadeesh had even taken a bath. His hair and beard had also grown quite long. So, when the volunteers poured water over his head, the man was shivering. However, after their intervention, Jagadeesh visibly brightened up.


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To add to his happiness, the group even went ahead and purchased a train ticket for Jagadeesh so that he could return home.

Providing him with some money for the expenses that would occur during the course of the journey, the volunteers warmly sent Jagadeesh off from the railway station. They were pleased to see that he was in a great mood, and had been singing songs all along the trip to the station, reports Manorama, a local daily.

Besides the activities mentioned above, the Karuna team also feeds 600 patients at Thrissur Medical College Hospital free of cost on a daily basis.

Feature image inset source: Manorama.

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Written by Lekshmi Priya S

Shuttling between existentialist views and Grey's Anatomy, Lekshmi has an insanely disturbing habit of binge reading. An ardent lover of animals and plants, she also specializes in cracking terribly sad jokes.