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Very rarely do we come across people who are genuinely interested in serving those less fortunate than themselves; and once in a while we stumble upon true social entrepreneurs like Krishnan, the one-man army whose battlefield is the dusty temple town of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, South India. His mission – to see that the mentally-ill people who roam the streets of this bustling town never go hungry! From this quest emerged Akshaya Trust, an organization that has served over 650,000 meals since 2002 to the mentally-ill.
Six years ago, a promising career awaited this young man on the hills of Switzerland. Having completed a degree in catering and a training period at one of Bangalore’s finest restaurants. However, a chance encounter with an elderly destitute who was eating his own excreta in hunger made Krishnan rethink his goals in life. After helping the old man clean up and buying him some food, Krishnan went straight home and used his expertise and his mother’s kitchen to whip up some food which he then distributed to the mentally-ill people roaming the streets of Madurai.
Even in the face of stiff opposition from his parents, Krishnan’s enthusiasm did not waver and he was up at dawn every day of the week, every week of the month, every month of the year, making sure that no fellow human was forced to subsist off their own waste. Slowly, like soft water eroding a hard rock, Krishnan’s parents came around and accepted their son’s venture whole-heartedly. As word of this good Samaritan spread, volunteers joined in his efforts, and the Akshaya Trust was born.