Andhra Pradesh

This worker lifts the lives of the poor

Real needs: Hamali maistry Lakshminarayana distributes clothes to residents of Kuppam.

Real needs: Hamali maistry Lakshminarayana distributes clothes to residents of Kuppam.  

Lakshminarayana collects old clothes and books for needy families in Kuppam

When Lakshminarayana saw the difficulties of many poor families, he decided to shift some of their burden on to his own shoulders. A load-carrying hamali worker in Kuppam, he is the go-to man at Muniyappa tea stall for poor families who cannot afford clothes, books, shoes and stationery for students when the academic year arrives.

Some people ask him for rice and provisions too, while others just want blessings on their children’s birthday. The hamalis’ charitable activity extends to payment of fees for students and even the passport application fee for youth seeking jobs abroad.

The worker, who hails from Shantipuram mandal of Kuppam Assembly constituency, is not literate. He has been pursuing social service along with his wife and children since they moved to Kuppam two decades ago in search of livelihood. His life as a hamali worker began at the Kuppam bus station. Over time he became maistry (leader).

The sight of two girls in tattered clothes loitering at the bus station two decades ago was the turning point for him. The children’s mother was dead and their alcohol-addicted father had deserted them. His first move was to get new clothes for them and send them to school, involving their relatives.

No cash donations

He put together essentials for migrant workers, needy families at Shikari colony and people abandoned at the bus station and elsewhere. But donations in cash are not accepted.

He also got a donation of ₹50,000 from the Hamali Union and presented it to Kuppam MLA and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to build Amaravati.

Recently, the hamali got praise, when he collected blankets, clothes and rice bags for the Charity Wall area of the police at the District Hospital in Chittoor.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 12:27:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/this-worker-lifts-the-lives-of-the-poor/article23430988.ece

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