Saviour on the streets
An autorickshaw driver by day, a hero by night.
On the streets of Kochi, Murugan, an auto driver, is the saviour of many abandoned mentally ill patients. People from states such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa and others are brought to the famous temples and streets of Kochi and left behind. Aided by the state government and police, Murugan has set up a care home where these patients are provided with medical care, food and shelter.
85-year-old Lakshmi spent 35 years wandering destitute on the streets before Murugan came to her rescue. The woman who was unable to take care of herself and her basic needs now leads a stable and self-content life. So far, the compassion and will of Murugan has saved over 2,000 mentally ill persons from the streets of Kochi.
As he says, he has himself spent many days on the streets, trying to earn a living for himself. It is the memory of those days and hardships that enables him to help the people that he does. In a world that discards the mentally ill as ‘useless’ and ‘shameful’, it is people like Murugan who give us a ray of hope.