NEW ARK MISSION OF INDIA
Home of Hope – Living With Love & Harmony
He Lives for them
Most of us curse God when we are suffering, meet with trials; ill fate or bad luck. Why God has done this only to me …? Is the question often asked, but God definitely has a purpose for all. Definitely, he has a plan for everyone’s life. He makes diamonds out of stones by sharpening the rough edges and surely makes the lotuses to bloom in the mud! Yes, friends this is the truth that God has a plan and a purpose for all and he gives sufferings to us for a purpose.
Here’s a true story about a person named ‘Auto Raja’ from Bengaluru.
He left his studies at the age of 14 and as he grew up, he started taking drinks, stealing and being with bad friends. He stole in his own house. He stole his mother’s mangalsutra and silk sarees for his crave for drinking. He spent his time with bad friends and did bad things, wasting time, drinking, gambling, fighting with others and beating others.
He watched late night cinema i.e. 9PM to 12PM, second show. He would return to his home the same day and was involved in theft, while returning. After coming back home he planned a similar routine for the next day that is full of fun and enjoyment.
His own parents chased him out and he was thrown out of his own house. At this time, he moved from Bangalore to Chennai and lived on the streets of Chennai with street dogs and slept under Chennai Central Railway Station, but his bad habits had no end. He still continued to steal and drink and was finally sent to jail.
In Jail, there was a lot of suffocation, no good food, no place to move … only dirty toilets and filthy smell; white lice in the jail uniform and bed bugs in the sleeping place. Raja encountered hell in jail. In times of trouble, people generally call their Mother/ Father or God/Allah/ Bhagwan or Jesus Christ! Similarly that was the time, when Raja turned to God. He remembered God and prayed to him earnestly. Jail was the place where his life transformed. He made a pledge to be a God’s instrument or vessel. He asked forgiveness from God and asked him one more chance to lead a jail free life. God heard and answered his prayer. His parents came to see him and he fell in their feet to forgive him. Finally, his parents rescued him from jail and took him back to their home in Bengaluru. Raja requested his parents and asked them to give one last help of Rs. 10,000 to get one driving license.
Finally, Raja started driving an Auto on the streets of Bangalore. While driving the autorikshaw, he saw some people lying on the roadside naked, hungry, thirsty, ugly and dirty, with wounded skin and full of pain and suffering. Their hairs were long and dirty and were full of lice. They never taken bath for many years and their face was red with 100’s of mosquito bites. They were lying with urine and motion in the same place. Some men had long beard and some people were like a skeleton. They were lying on the road and counting the minutes to die, struggling to breathe and left abandoned.
Raja recalls a lady whose hairs were not to be seen as they were completely covered with lice and nits and red ants moved towards it to eat them. Gangrene wounds and Maggots covered the skin. People walking on the road covered their nose while walking past them. They smelled badly and no one noticed them. They were lying like garbage near waste sites, under the bridge or on the roadside. They did not have energy to feed them but people threw waste food near them. Such sights were enough to catch Raja’s attention and it melted his heart, his eyes were full of tears as he imagined himself in that position.
Then Raja asked God that God how I can help such people …. Once I was also like them, lying on the road, without home, without shelter and nobody noticed me. Similarly, these people are left abandoned and nobody is there to look after them. He said to God that ‘I want to help such people …. How can I do this Lord …?? At this time, while surrendering himself to God and having full faith in him, he took a decision. He took a decision to look after street dwellers.
Dying in Dignity
Often, he started feeding them with tea or buns, parotas or bread but he wanted to do something more.
He asked God for his help and brought 3 to 4 people in the garage of 6×3 ft. in his own house where his father used to park a motorbike.
He started cleaning and feeding such patients. He used to give them bath, cut their nails and shave their head full of lice …. But his family members and neighbor’s called him insane for bringing such people to his house. They thought, he’s mad and doing such a thing because he was jobless. Moreover, they mistaken him and thought that he would send pictures of such people to foreigners and make money. They discouraged him so much so that he was pressurized to move out of his house and look for a rented place. Society rejected him and offended him but it was not an end …. But just a start!
He hired a rented house and no doubt his first donor was “Bro SR. Manohar” donated Rs 10,000 and he used this money to pay the advance rent.
There were 13 inmates at that time and it was in the place named Kavalbyrasandra in Bengaluru.
Today, Raja is the director of “Home of Hope”, a mission run by him to serve destitute people in the busy city of Bengaluru and all over Karnataka and the neighboring states. He’s the founder of the mission – “New Ark Mission of India – Home of Hope” and went ahead and registered it as a trust in 1997.
Today, Raja’s Ashram or “Auto Raja” Ashram as it is popularly known is a home to nearly 750 people where he and his team rescues people from the streets, feed them and look after their health. We also keep them engaged and give them some job.
These people are poor, helpless and in worst conditions lying on the streets just like garbage. Diseases afflict them – Leprosy, blindness, deaf and dumb, kidney and liver ailments, cancers and tumors and moreover mentally challenged and depressed and rejected from family and society.
A major challenge is to feed, entertain, engage and rehabilitate such people. Compassion for others and an unshakeable faith in God are just the two things Raja invests in, to drive him to do his job.
Pledge to become Partners
When Raja served for almost a year and a half, an organization named “India Campus Crusade for Christ” came forward and donated half an acre of land in Dodda gubbi village with a building of 3000 to 4000 sqft built on it. There were 100 to 120 inmates at that time.
By God’s Grace, later in 2007 the then chief minister of Karnataka, Mr. H.D. Kumaraswamy” donated “One Acre of land” at subsidized rates for about Rs. 17 Lakh. That was the time when we separated Ladies and Gents into two wings i.e. Ladies wing and Gents wing. Also, in 2009, we purchased a land for a separate children’s wing. It accommodates almost 70 children.
The beginning was difficult for Raja but a new leaf turned in Raja’s life and he makes a difference in other people’s life. It’s been more than 21 years now, he’s running this mission and he gives all credit to God.
So far, the team has rescued more than 11,000 people and nearly 7000 people died in peace and dignity, instead of dying an unnoticed and animal like death where dogs eat their flesh.
The Daily Challenge
They die with respect and before dying we almost fulfill their last wish of having a Masala dosa, Idly, Noodles, Chicken kabab or any other special food.
Presently we’ve 750 people including males, females and children – boys, girls and babies in Dodda gubbi village, KRC road, Bengaluru. As the numbers of people are increasing we started with a project of building a new 30,000 sqft building for females in 2016, to accommodate more people. The project is near to completion.
Raja says in his own words that one Auto Raja cannot change the society but we need many more people to come forward to make a difference.
In our Ashram, we not only feed 750 people but also does some rehabilitation work.
The Challenge is to keep the mentally challenged people busy and involved in some kind of work. We give them healing therapy through music and also involve them in cleaning roads and growing plants, vegetables etc. (agriculture work).
The Clean India
One such initiative is the mission of “Real Swachh Bharat” taken by us. Generally, people think that Swachh Bharat is just picking papers and wrappers, cleaning and sweeping and putting the garbage in the dust bin but nobody thinks that it has one more aspect to it that is Raja’s thought of having our city clean, green and beggar less. Further, when these people recover from bad health and rehabilitate enough, we utilize them for our mission and turn them into resources. They are trained to sweep roads and streets and our premises and dispose of garbage – for our dream of having ‘Real Swachh Bharat’.
Our aim is to come up with more homes in major cities and serve our country by having beggar less places, shelter for the destitute and those who are waste – facing rejection from family and society, solace for the poor and needy and turn them resourceful and healthy, a place of respect for human beings who are lying on the roads just like any garbage.
Our Daily Needs
- Grains and Vegetables
- Tea and Coffee Powder
- Toiletries and
Recognition But No Resources
Raja is awarded with the CNN IBN “Real Hero Award” in 2010 by “Mukesh Ambani” and Karnataka “Rajyothsava Samaja Seve Award” in 2013. To his accolades are also the “Philips Bravery Award” way back in 2003 and the “State Governor Award Twice”, “Kempe Gowda Award” and “Namma Bengaluru”.
Awards do throw light on the work done by us and in a way they are welcome but to continue the noble work we would need financial assistance and only with the help of well-wishers, we would be able to remain a home for the homeless forever.
Most of us have sympathy for such people but how many of us would get down to serving them?? We expect everyone’s help and as the numbers of people are increasing each day we need enough resources.
Our Future Plans
Even if each one of us donate A Single Rupee each day, it would make a big difference.
Raja is a humble and teachable human being and he is dedicating his whole life for the needy and helpless people.
Little financial help is enough to encourage him and do more for such people.
He is determined to beg on behalf of the weak and dying beggars.
We encourage people to help the helpless and help Raja and his team to do such exemplary work.
We also expect Government aid and support in this regard for our development and enhancement happening each day. Together, let us work towards trying to give hope to the hopeless and bring them back to life.