After years of rescuing people, Theruvoram now seeks a helping hand

Donations on which the NGO was being run are drying up due to the pandemic

In over a year since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the State, Theruvoram, a Kochi-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), has rescued and rehabilitated around 1,300 people from across the State.

After rescuing thousands of sick and abandoned persons from the streets in the last two decades, the NGO is now staring at a crisis as donations on which it was being run are fast drying up due to the pandemic.

“We are running up debts and, going by the alarming rate at which it is rising, we may have to shelve our services very shortly unless kind-hearted people come to our rescue. One of our two ambulances is languishing in the workshop for want of money to pay repair charges,” said Murugan S., the NGO founder.

Resource crunch has also forced Theruvoram to terminate the service of five out of its nine staff members. Its many services cost nearly ₹13,000 a day, and, at the moment, finding that amount is proving tough.

Mr. Murugan said the number of people pushed to a life on the streets had risen since the pandemic. “Many people got stranded here after being rendered jobless and unable to bear the expense of lodging, following the lockdown while there are also the abandoned, sick, and mentally imbalanced people from even other States who land up at various railway stations across Kerala. We have rescued them and taken many to hospitals, including the Government Mental Health Centre, Thrissur,” he said.

The COVID-19 protocol has also created hurdles in the rehabilitation of people, as most centres were turning them away, forcing Theruvoram to accommodate 40 of them at its centre at Kakkanad.

The Theruvoram Women Empowerment (TWE) wing feeds nearly 500 people on the streets a day. “Those on the streets are finding it hard to get drinking water as people who otherwise served them are not doing it any longer for fear of infections,” said Mr. Murugan. TWE also traces and rehabilitates single and abandoned women and even sex workers in rural areas and helps them lead a dignified life by giving them skill development training.

All such activities are endangered owing to the severe resource crunch. Those willing to help the NGO may contact 7561041036 or 9846051098.

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