Two villages in Kottayam district of Kerala helped in gathering funds for the kidney transplant of a migrant worker from Tamil Nadu. Villagers from Chingavanam and Pallam took just five hours on October 15 to crowdfund Rs 11 lakh for Kulathuparambil Jayan, a 45-year-old from Madurai, Tamil Nadu, said a report by the Indian Express.
Without taking political and religious differences into any consideration, the villagers mobilised the needed amount. They went from door to door with buckets collecting the contributions to help Jayan. Jayan has been ironing clothes in the village over the last 20 years.
Collection of Funds
This fund collection drive was organised by the Jayan Life Saving Committee in Kottayam district of Kerala. This Committee is a voluntary organisation which is headed by civic-body representatives from the two villages, Chingavanam and Pallam. A month-long effort led to the materialising of the drive. It included motivational sessions and conventions led by a Catholic priest encouraging people to “contribute generously to the cause.”
Convenor of Jayan Life Saving Samithi, Tino K Thomas who is also a municipal councillor said, “We covered around 2000-2500 houses under the Kottayam municipality of Kerala to raise the money. Though the required amount was Rs 10 lakh, the campaign has helped us generate nearly 11.25 lakh.” Contributors range from middle-class families, farmers and even daily workers.
The Samithi requested the daily wage workers to contribute nearly a day’s wage, of around Rs 500. People have donated sums of money ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 25,000. “People were enlightened by Father Sebastian Punnaseri, who highlighted that anyone could face an emergency situation regarding health that requires a huge sum for treatment”, Thomas further added.
The Committee made its final appeal on 14 October and a day later when the squad of volunteers visited from house to house during 9 AM to 2 PM, people were ready with their donations. The collections were deposited in a joint account which was opened by the Committee members. The account has two stakeholders, Jayan and members of the Committee.
Jayan says, the residents of the two villages came forward to help him out of their “love and concern”. He said, “All the people in Chingavanam and Pallam know me as I have been pushing my mobile ironing unit from one house to the other here for the last 20 years. I was afraid that I would be left to die without any treatment for lack of money. Now, I realise how much the people of this region love me.” He hopes of undergoing the transplant next month.
Jayan lives in a small rented space with his wife, Mariyammal. Both of his daughters live in Namakkal Tamil Nadu. He has been a chronic kidney patient for the last seven years, though his conditions deteriorated over the last six months. He had been undergoing dialysis twice a week, till the doctors said, the only option left is a transplant. Soon, his wife will be donating one of her kidneys to him, as she is a matching donor.
Intervention and conventions
The process of the campaign began almost a month before the day of fundraising. It came in full swing after a meeting of the five municipality representatives from Pallam and Chingavanam villages. It was followed by sensitising people through a mobile public address system at the ward level.
Fr Punnuserui runs a community FM Radio service in Changanassery. He said, “irrespective of political and religious barriers, people came together to rescue the life of a migrant worker” The committee had local leaders from CPI(M), Congress and BJP.” He further added, “This gives a strong message that Kerala is God’s own country, where everyone is taken care of. If the cause is genuine, people would support generously.”
In the conventions that Father addressed, he spoke about the plight of the underprivileged patients who with the help of crowdfunding, had undergone organ transplants in the past. Father Punnuseri said, “Since 2012, I had addressed various such fund-raising conventions in 89 local civic bodies. Over the years, such meetings have helped gather Rs 19 crore for 115 such patients who were in need of organ transplantation.”
The Logical Indian Take
In a rare win for humanity over a plethora of adverse situations, two villages of Kerala arranged for the sum. This is a situation where human beings united for a philanthropic cause by ignoring political and religious differences. The Logical Indian community wholeheartedly applauds the efforts taken up by the community members of the two villages in helping to crowdfund the entire organ transplant process for Jayan.
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