ORIGIN: As is common to most outstanding social bodies, Abhayam too was born out from an informal meeting of a handful of Tripunithura-based, socially committed individuals, in 1980. It was the vision of those determined and dedicated few that remained the initial working capital of this apolitical and secular organisation.
Ever since it came into being, Abhayam has been doing commendable work in areas of education and healthcare. Currently, it has 98 members and according to them, anyone who believes in selfless service is welcome to join Abhayam. The annual membership fee is Rs. 100 and life membership costs Rs. 2,000. The membership is granted subject to the nod of a five-member screening committee.
ACTIVITIES: Perhaps, of all the initiatives it’s their work on eye care that has become hugely popular. Apart from organising numerous awareness classes on eye donation and transplantation, they have conducted more than 100 free eye camps involving more than 1,500 cataract surgeries, free distribution of medicines and specs. This apart, Abhayam also runs a fully-equipped eye clinic from its own premises. A Homeo clinic, monthly Ayurveda consultation by Swami Nirmalanandagiri Maharaj, tailoring unit, education centre, ambulance service, blood donation unit, are some of the other active arms of Abhayam.
The ambulance service was started in 1989. Of late, it has added one more ambulance to its fleet. According to them, the ambulance service has made more than 13,000 trips till now. Their campaign for eye donation has been a rewarding experience. Abhayam also sponsors the higher education of needy students.
Education has always been a very specific area where Abhayam remained thoroughly focused right from inception. Today, it offers nine scholarships to meritorious school students in and around Tripunithura and one for post-graduate students of chemistry at Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam. Creditably, Abhayam does not depend on government grant for any of its activities. It’s the individuals and other organisations that have always fuelled the resources of this organisation.
Organising blood camps has also been a milestone activity of Abhayam. It was because of its meticulous work that it could top the IMA chart in the organisational category for many years. Group insurance for workers in the unorganised sector, magazine club and a circulation library were some of Abhayam’s earlier programmes which had a successful run for a long time.
“We never load administrative costs to any of our programmes and our well-defined accounting system is totally transparent”, remarks K. K.Ramachandran, secretary of Abhayam. “Even though all our programmes have been getting financial support from individuals and corporate bodies, of late, we are running short of funds for organising eye camps,” he adds.
One of the latest and well-appreciated programmes of Abhayam has been a series of discourses by experts on value-based education which is held every second Sunday of every month. For the past several years Abhayam has also been carrying out a noon feeding scheme at various schools in Tripunithura.
IMPACT: Through years of consistent interventions and highly motivated initiatives, Abhayam has left indelible footprints in the socio-cultural fabric of Tripunithura. It could, quite successfully, cast away shadows of misery and bring smiles into the lives of several thousands of people in numerous ways.
GETTING IN TOUCH: To know more about Abhayam and their activities call 9847559188 (President), 9447209204 (Secretary) or 0484-2778980 (Off) Email: abhayamtripunithura@