Life Expectancy: 63.4 years
GDP: US$1017 per capita
37% earn less than US$2 per day
IND04 - New Ark Mission of India
$8,000 - $14,999
On the road lies a hungry man with festering sores, a long beard and matted hair teeming with lice. Emanating from him is a stench so foul that passers-by cross the road to avoid it. But for T Raja, founder of New Ark Mission of India, spotting this harmless destitute marks the beginning of another bond.
An outstanding example of Christ's compassion, NAMI is a mission rescuing abandoned and often terminally ill people off the streets and transforming the lives of these street dwellers. Over 1,000 people have been rescued up to this point in time. The founder, T Raja, is a converted tuk tuk driver motivated by the story of the Good Samaritan.
History Of Partnership
T Raja started off as an auto rickshaw driver and the history lingers as his close friends still call him ‘Auto Raja’ long after he gave up his job to pursue charitable causes. As a driver plodding the streets of Bangalore he came upon many sights that tore his heart - homeless, wounded and helpless people, most of them living in dangerously unhygienic conditions. He brought them home and with the little means he had tried giving them a better life. Many of them could not be helped for long but they died knowing someone cared for them.
None of his efforts have gone to waste. Raja has been lauded for his efforts two years in a row. He is a recipient of the Induvala H Honnaiah Samaja Seva Prashasti, an award that recognised committed social work in 2001 and the following year he received an award from Her Excellency, Governor Rama Devi, on Republic Day. Many further awards and recognition have followed.
Since then the work has grown. T Raja has been gifted some land and a house in which to house those who are being rescued. He commenced with a small, four bedroomed house but this has been added to and developed. Currently there are more than 235 people living on the property. Every day more people turn up or are delivered on to the premises to be cared for, every day people die and are taken off the property.
Recently they have appointed one staff nurse who will be in the home 24 hours. Two doctors visit once per week. In the past 10 years they have rescued 1250 people, out of which 630 people have died in peace and dignity in the Home.
The poor and abandoned street people of Bangalore, India.
The terminally ill street dwellers.
Abused women, children and sex workers.
What We Like About The Partnership
The total commitment of the leaders of this ministry to the poor. None of them have to be there, this is a labour of love and compassion.
T. Raja and his wife Devi are the key people in the Home. They live on the site with their three children and many other workers and extended family.
T. Raja was born into a Hindu family but from a young age mocked the gods that his parents worshipped. He was defiant and rebellious. After three years of primary school he dropped out and became a ruffian. His parents despaired of him as he grew and at one point even wished he was dead.
It was only after he and his family became Christians that things began to change for him. He heard about the work of Mother Teresa in Calcutta. He saw many destitute people on the streets as he drove his taxi and felt he should do his part to help them. He struggled to live out his faith in the same old organisation and challenged God that if he could get a job in a Christian organisation then he would dedicate his life to helping the poor. Within a couple of weeks he had the job.
In 1998 he started taking street dwellers into his home. He feed and bathed them, cut their hair and clothed them. This went on for two years until an organisation offered him some land and a building. The rest, they say, is history.
Vision And Annual Strategy
The vision is to rescue and provide shelter for destitute and/or sick and abused men, women or children found on the streets of Bangalore, India and to love them through compassionate action as long as they live and to ensure dignity in their death. Also to rehabilitate as many as possible into the mainstream of life.
How Can I Help?
There are many unmet needs in this place and much more could be sent if it was available.