Meet the 24-yo who rehabilitated over 340 road dwellers in Erode to provide them better lives
Erode’s nursing college lecturer always knew she wanted to serve the needy and do good for society. Manisha Krishnasamy has rescued over 340 road dwellers, which includes mentally unstable and drug addicts.
She was born in a lower-middle-class family; her father was a butcher and, the mother is a housewife. This 24-year-old dreamt of joining the army or a doctor but had to give up on her dream due to social stigma and financial difficulties.
Growing up, Manisha Krishnasamy accompanied her father every day to the mutton stall to help him, she saw his hardship and struggle, which led her to empathize with the needy and road dwellers at a very young age.
“I always wanted to pursue my career in helping people. As I had to give up on being a doctor or an army person, I decided to take up BSC in nursing”.
speaking to Life Beyond Numbers, Manisha said.
Soon after she completed the course, Manisha started to work with Nandha College of Nursing as a lecturer. She saved up money to feed the needy one time a day near her residence but, she was unhappy.
“I wanted to do something big by aiming to provide them with shelter and food three times a day. It was not so easy; I started by working with an NGO which did not let me work on the field due to male dominance,” Manisha said.
“I Came across a Facebook post about an 80-year-old man who was very malnourished on the side of the road. I reached out to the individual who had uploaded the photo and learned of his whereabouts. At the time, I was living in Trichy and rushed to Tanjavoor to assist him. I called the local old age home to transfer him there before I arrived. It was heartwrenching to see his condition.“She further added, “Seeing him vulnerable in that instant altered everything for me. As a result, I founded the Jeevitham Foundation in 2018 to help people.“
Jeevitham’s main purpose is to rehabilitate neglected street inhabitants, whether they are elderly people, mentally ill patients, or drug addicts. The first step is to get down with them and learn about their specific requirements. Food, clothing, and other necessities are provided to establish a connection with them, and their complete history is recorded. They serve in and around the regions of Erode, Tamil Nadu.
“We make an effort to contact those who have families. Individuals that do not have any relations, however, are placed in care facilities. If they are capable of working, we endeavor to assist them in finding work so that they can support themselves“, Manisha added while talking about the foundation.
“My friends were the only ones who stepped forward to help me and encourage my endeavor. My parents, on the other hand, have never been supportive of me. Instead, they treated me as if I were a distant relative. Even today, they remain dissatisfied with my vision. I’ve been away from my family for three years,” Manisha said.
During the COVID time, Manisha obtained permission from government authorities and handed over masks, handwash, rations, and three meals each day to roadside residents.
She realized that when everyone was locked at their homes during the spread of COVID, these roadside dwellers were not safe staying outdoor. She asked the commissioner to assist them in finding a school for these individuals. The demand was quickly met, and about 84 people were relocated to a nearby school that had been closed due to the lockdown.
“We set up a community kitchen in the school and requested these individuals to cook by providing them rations,” Manisha said.
They also served herbal tea, held physical exercise camps, and vocational training programs.
They were able to place 54 of them in jobs after two months, while the rest were sent to old age homes and returned to their families.
She is running the foundation with her earnings and funds from the donors.
Manisha intends to build a rehabilitation home by herself within the city one day and assist them in obtaining minor employment such as creating areca plates and tumblers by providing appropriate machinery.
Despite the challenges she faced, Manisha Krishnasamy remained solid in her determination. Her vision has given the homeless hope and a better life. She is one of the young people who inspire others to step forward and take action to aid those in need.
This was story was first published on Life Beyond Numbers.