What is the value of Re 1 in our lives now a days? Some coins will be lying here and there, some in our meaningless pockets , some just to use for heads n tails. But, in this mess, Mr Venkatraman is serving full meals in just Re 1 to the poor lives. Sri AMV Homely Mess at Erode, Tamil Nadu, owned by this person is happy to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner for Re 1 for each meal. It is situated just outside the government hospital and from where the very idea of serving the poor came to his mind. The attenders in the hospital cannot afford meals throughout the day even , as they are very poor and they may be cutting out their food expenses to buy medicines.
He started the mess in 1995, beside the government hospital as it will make it easier for the patient’s attendees to get food. The thing that he observed was that many poor people are struggling so much for just one meal for the day. The movement started when in 2007, one old woman came to his mess to buy idlis for her ailing husband but it was not available. So he asked her to buy 3 dosas for Rs10 which was also very costly for her but she somehow managed to produce Rs 10 and Venkatraman gave her 6 dosas instead. Since then Venkatraman decided to do something for these poor people who are not able to manage their daily meals. He went into the hospital, did some research, talked with the doctors and nurses and inquired to find that almost attenders of all the patients cannot afford food daily or even tea buscuit in the afternoon. This struck him and motivated him to offer tiffin and meals at low rates to the attenders of patients at the hospital. He started with going to the hospital himself and giving the Re 1 tokens to the people. This way slowly people were coming and they also realized that the promise wasn’t broken. They were getting full meals with no extra cost other than Re 1.
The number started increasing , and now it is 70 people per day. Venkatraman says that he himself in not a rich man, me manages to earn some money from the other normal people who eat there for Rs 35 per meal. If we come closer and peek into Venkatraman’s own problems ,we will find many. He has 2 daughters , both are going to college. He didn’t have money to pay the fees of his second daughter for the engineering college. People from Ramakrishna Math heard his story and decided to help him with that. But , this was not the end, he is still struggling to pay the hostel fees. Besides these problems, the Re 1 movement never got obstructed due to any reason.
From where does the power or inspiration come to him to be such an angel to the poor people. Venkat comes from a middle class joint family of 30 members. There were even times in his childhood when he was unable to get a full meal for a day. But, he says “God helps me to feed others. Sometimes we cannot help others despite wanting to do so. But I am able to do so by God’s grace.” He could also have done free meals without taking any money at all, but the reason behind that was if it is free, people will not respect the value of it.
These are some few examples of amazing Indians who came into the world as selfless people and as a lifeline to the poorly.
Author: Namrata Dutta
Loves to express my opinion about almost everything!