This week (March 13) started with a great message from Murali. Usually I pick up his book suggestions as he reads voraciously besides helping people voraciously :):). Murali is the author of Ubuntu, I am because we Are.
Murali came all the way to Chennai when we were there recently in Jan 2023, just to meet us. He brought my favourite “Obbatu” or “Poli” or “Holige” and mini Kodubale. He didn’t know that these were my favourites but he just got the right things ! It was a huge effort to make him eat something as he just refused to eat anything except dosas made by Amma.
The few hours that we all spent together just went by in a blur as we spoke of our personal lives, interests, ShikshaDaan, the Children of Krishnagiri etc etc. It felt like we were meeting an old friend after a gap, rather than someone whom we were meeting for the first time in person.
Murali’s Musings on March 13, 2023 – Murugan Thurai
(Reposted with his permission from WhatsApp)
I had the pleasure of being with Murugan of ‘Nizhal Maiyam’ (Shadow Centre) in Coimbatore, over this weekend!
Murugan (45 years) with his wife Usha cooks and serves food for the needy, 100 plus people everyday ( homeless, roadside abandoned, poor at General hospital) and 1000 plus on Sunday (including leprosy homes, orphanages, old age homes and poor in villages)! The most nutritional meal I’ve ever tasted.(18 vegetables in his sambar!) And a sweet!
He’s been doing this for 25 years (not a day missed)
He ran away at age 15 from Chennai from an alcoholic abusive father. An auto driver, newspaper delivery boy, waiter in a hotel, door to door salesman, you name it, he’s done it.
During the pandemic he fed 6 lac people in need, in 2 months.
He’s planted 3.5 lac saplings in Coimbatore, of which 65,000 have become full grown trees.
There are 25 old and abandoned women who come to his centre every morning for a sumptuous breakfast and packed lunch.
His daughter in class 12 is the school topper and his son in class 9 is not far behind. They live in a tiny 2 room rented house.
His bank balance when I met him was Rs 1600 and he had enough bills to be paid for all provisions! He does not own a cent of land. He has taken out jewel loans too!
(Thank you Greg and Sriram for the support)
He and his wife start work by 2 am to prepare, buy and distribute, everyday.
He conducts free eye camps, gives yearly school materials for 2000 children (calls it ‘Joy’ day)
He does not have any vices and works out in the gym, everyday
He was cheerful all the 48 hours I stayed with him and not one complaint or bitterness expressed. He had a constant high energy. You should watch him bringing a smile in all those faces, while giving.
The most touching moment for me was when he took me to distribute food to the leprosy home I had worked in, for a decade.
It was a reunion after 16 years (a picture of my appa and amma was still there)
I met God🙏🏼
Note : Murugan’s NGO is called Nizhal Maiyam. If you are in Coimbatore, you can visit and see the activities for yourself. Donations are welcome as they need nearly Rs. 1.5 lakhs a month to feed everyone daily.
I put the title as Murugan Thunai because many Tamilians who are followers of Murugan will write this before starting any project. You will find Murugan Thunai written on the back of Trucks that are from Tamil Nadu. The literal translation of the phrase is “Murugan Will Help”. In the case of Nizhal Maiyam’s Murugan, the phrase has indeed come true.