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Inspirational Tuesday: Feeding India’s Homeless

April 6, 2010

Because of the poverty India faces, many people are being abandoned by their own family and left uncared for on the roadside of the city. Narayanan Krishnan witnessed this desperation firsthand and wanted change.

He was working as an ambitious chef for a five star hotel when one day, he saw a homeless man who was  eating his own waste to stay alive. It really hurt him to see what this man was reduced to and he decided to shift his life goals. Krishnan quit his job at the restaurant and devoted all of his time to feeding the homeless.

Now,  Krishnan wakes up at 4 in the morning everyday to prepare fresh food for nearly 400 homeless people in his hometown of Madurai, India. He works throughout the day to cook and distribute three meals a day to everyone. On his trips through the city distributing food, Krishnan also offers haircuts to the people he feeds, hoping to help them regain their dignity. He works around the clock, rain or shine, no holidays.

In order to sustain the work he does, Krishnan founded the Akshaya Trust, a nonprofit through which he collects donations. But donations often fall short of the amount needed to feed everyone each month. So, Krishnan cuts costs by forgoing a salary, and chooses to live modestly instead, sleeping on the Akshaya kitchen floor.

In the future, Krishnan’s goal is to raise enough funds to build the Akshaya Home, a homeless shelter for the poor. But until he can collect enough money to compete the home, construction remains at a stand-still.

The people he helps are who motivate Krishnan to continue his work.

“The happiness I see in their faces keeps me going. I take energy from them.”

Krishnan was featured on CNN Heroes on April 2.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2010 6:00 pm

    That’s an amazing story. Your Inspirational Tuesdays always help me to remember that even when the problems are big, like hunger, and really need infrastructural change, one person can help too. We should certainly work towards not having to rely on single people and nonprofits like this, but at the same time, keep in mind that what we do as individuals really can make a difference in someone’s life. You have to see not only the forest, but also the trees.

    Thanks for the perspective :)

    • April 9, 2010 10:32 pm

      I’m glad you enjoy them. They help me remember the power and potential that each of us possesses too.

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