By Shiny Cyriac:
This is the story of P.U. Thomas, hailing from Neendoor in Kottayam district in Kerala, who started Navjeevan Trust- a nonprofit providing shelter and relief to the desolate and not-so accepted mentally and physically challenged people. Dressed in a white mundu and shirt, Mr. Thomas has a charisma which motivates people around him to look beyond the materialistic world and help the needy.
The story of Navjeevan trust started when he as a kid was admitted to medical college for acute stomach infection. Seeing the miserable condition of other patients who could not even afford food, he started sharing his food with them. Delighted to see the smiles on their face, Mr. Thomas started visiting the hospital more frequent and seeing his dedication the hospital granted him a job of an attender.
His job did not end there. Later in 1970 he rented a small room at the medical college lodge with a nominal rent of Rs. 250 and named it- Navjeevan Trust. Three people including Manu Bhai (seen in the picture below) were one of the first ones who were provided a home when the world was dark to them. Manu Bhai was found in one of garbage centre 4 month pregnant. She was thereafter looked after by the trust and her baby was adopted by a couple. The trust claims to have no support from the government players or foreign aid to which he asserts that if one has the willingness to give to others, help would come from the almighty.
Today the trust provides food to almost 4000 people across 3 hospitals and spends close to Rs. 50,000 daily. The trust is built on a 5 acre land serving around 230 desolate people found in the roads and corners of the street. The MSW students form a major chunk of volunteer group. The kitchen is huge with state of the art technology to make rice and vegetables which are bought and made the same day. Mr. Thomas is blessed with 5 children and a wife and stay in their house near to the trust.