Chennai

Chennai resident donates flat to NGO Sevalaya

Lakshmi Venkatraman hands over the document to Sevalaya founder V. Muralidharan. Photos: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: Picasa

From January 18, Chennai-based voluntary organisation Sevalaya would function from a new address, which they have received through a transaction of the heart.

Lakshmi Venkatraman, an art critic and long-time resident of Alwarpet, has gifted the non-profit her flat, on the first floor of Pushkarni Apartments at 12 Ananda Road in Alwarpet.

At a event conducted recently, she handed over the keys to Sevalaya founder V. Muralidharan, in the presence of R. Nataraj, MLA, Mylapore constituency; A. Chandrasekharan, advocate; and N. Srinivasan, chartered accountant and secretary of the apartment welfare Association.

It is a 3BHK flat that is worth ₹ 2 crore, says the Sevalaya newsletter.

Chennai resident donates flat to NGO Sevalaya

V. Muralidharan, founder, Sevalaya points out that this gesture by Lakshmi Venkatraman is significant as not many donors would come forward to bear the operational cost of running an NGO’s office.

“We would receive donations for feeding children and sponsoring a child’s education but not to keep an office running,” elaborates Muralidharan.

Sevalaya began its journey as a voluntary organisation humbly, at Muralidharan’s house three decades ago. As it grew, it had to keep moving places.

“We would have moved at least 10 times in the last three decades,” says Muralidharan. Beyond the logistics part of it, moving places poses the problem of having to communicate the new address to all our donors in time.

Before Internet banking became popular, the NGO had donors sending cheques to them and many a time, they got misplaced or lost as the person would have sent it to an old address.

“Once a senior citizen who had sent us a cheque by post for his birthday was disappointed that we did not acknowledge it via mail. During every change of place, our phone number would also change and so, it was only during a function I attended that I met him and learnt about the lost cheque,” he says.

Lakshmi says she has visited the main campus of Sevalaya and was aware of the various aspects of their work.

“When I planned to donate my house to an NGO, the first person I asked was Murali and that was the end of the story. I have registered the property in their name,” says Lakshmi, who lived in the flat for 20 years. Twenty staff of the non-profit will be working from this new and permanent place.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 3:07:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-resident-donates-flat-to-ngo-sevalaya/article33590040.ece

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