Be it Ramzan, Diwali or Christmas, many homeless and needy persons in Vellore get new clothes and a sumptuous feast — thanks to members of the “My India, My People”, a voluntary group consisting of salaried people based in the town.
Founded in April 2016, the group has 13 members. “Most of us earn a small salary. There are those working in the Netaji market in Vellore, some are ward boys in Christian Medical College Hospital and there are clerks from government departments. We come together, pool in money to help the poor,” said K. Raghuraman, who works in a vegetable shop in Netaji market.
Each person contributes a few thousands from his salary every month and this amount is used to provide lunch and dinner for 70 needy persons daily. “We feed people at seven places in the district, including Old Bus Stand, Sarathy Tirupati Devasthanam temple and Tangedco office,” said M. Mahalingam, another member who runs a coconut shop in the market.
During festivals, these volunteers provide saris and dhotis to the homeless. “We encourage members of our group and people known to them to donate food or new clothes to the poor on the occasion of their birthday, marriage or any happy event in their family,” said Mr. Raghuraman.
The group feeds animals daily. “Everyone gets hungry and during the lockdown many humans and stray animals suffer without food. We ensure that we provid food to the maximum number of needy people. It gives us a sense of happiness,” said Mr. Raghuraman.