On 22 March 2016, at the behest of the founder Acharya of Srimaan Trust, we visited the 'blind people's hostel' - as the locals call this place.
Almost 25km south of Srirangam, they are housed in "KrishKaakkumKarangal" (Krish The Saviour Arms - a raw translation), a small house rented for Rs.2500 per month with a thatched roofed hut extension into the nearby road.
As we sit under the ceiling fan in one corner of the hut, we find that the inmates are a heterogeneous group - men, women, a couple of children, some mentally challenged, some unable to move their arms and legs, including 3 who we found needed help even to attend their call of nature, many blind.
The only common thread that seems to 'unite' the 22 women and 26 men here is 'social-rejection'. Kannan said he had picked most of them from the streets, abandoned by their kin.
The curious inmate J introduced himself as being from Srirangam, his brother's family no longer wanting to look after him - since 3 months. Pointing to the lady with an 8 year-old daughter, he said, she was abandoned by her husband, and now lives in the 'hostel', helping with cooking, bathing the inmates and such service. The saving grace is that her daughter is in school.
He adds with great relief in his face, "...here we get food twice a day...if possible we do some help with cooking, washing, caring..., those who can't just sleep in peace".
(An account written by one of the volunteers of Srimaan Trust who visited the home and interviewed Mr.Kannan, a noble soul running an orphnanage. Please check earlier mails for the previous posts in this series)