All that Raja could do then (in 1997 when NAMI was first started) was to pick them from the street in his auto and bring them to his home. With minimal help from others, he would bathe and shave them and clean up their wounds. They would then be dressed afresh and fed. Thus, the New Ark Mission in the year 1997 was started in a 5’ by 6 feet passage outside Raja’s tiny single room house. Since then, the New Ark Mission of India has been remarkably dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating the deserted and the dying people from the streets. The Home of Hope is where the future of the homeless lies. Raja started this home with compassion and faith as his only investment.
As the number of residents increased the need for a bigger home was crucial. It was during this time in 1998 that India Campus Crusade for Christ donated a half acre land for the work of New Ark Mission of India. In the process of time the Home of Hope was built in a serene half acre plot at Doddagubbi village near Hennur in the outskirts of Bangalore.
Today, this 3,300 sq ft building accommodates more than 170 residents. “It is my dream to make sure that not a single person remains homeless on the streets of Bangalore.” says Raja ambitiously. The task is not easy though as his home is run entirely on voluntary donations. The home finds it difficult to meet the needs of food clothing, shelter, education and medication for its residents. Raja has managed to acquire an ambulance to pick up the sick from the streets, but he knows that there is a long way to go.
The limitations however have not distracted him from the real focus of the Home of Hope – to ensure dignity of life and death. For even those who die homeless on the streets are taken to the home, bathed and then cremated. What more can we ask for?
One of the remarkable services offered here is that every effort is made to fulfill the last wish of a dying person. Some residents, in their final moments of life have desired to eat an apple; some have asked for a good meal while others pray and peacefully leave the world. Raja considers it an honor to be able to care for these people even if it was in their final moments of their life. Many residents of the home die in Raja’s arms. Such noble service is truly uncommon in today’s world.