P.C.Yohannan Ramban was one among the social activist who was saddened by the devastating effects of AIDS disease, a curse in the modern era and one of the result of an iniquitous life style. He was thinking about ways to look after the non-infected children of AIDS parents, when he was shocked seeing the way the society treated some of these innocent children. The loving nature of Pampady Thirumeni which had influenced Ramban did not allow him to sit back and watch these things happening to the innocent.
Now here is an incident which is a bit difficult for all to grasp. Yohannan Ramban who was also the State President of the Kerala Orphans Association went to Pala to deal with an official purpose regarding the association. On the way he visited the home of a Catholic lady who was staying with her mother and brother. She was previously working as a teacher of B.M.M School. When she was teaching in the Pampady school she used to visit Thirumeni’s kabar daily. The poverty at home and other problems used to haunt her then. She used to pray to Thirumeni to help her from all these troubles. It was common site to see the young lady weeping and praying in the Kabar room of Thirumeni.
After some months she got a job in the government plus two school. Her husband got a job in Gulf. They had some land in Tamil Nadu which was under a legal case. The decision was in favour of them. Thus they could sell the land and got 25 lakhs!! They strongly believed that all this was due to the intercession of our beloved Thirumeni. It was without knowing any of theses stories that the Rambachan visited them.
Special mention has to be made regarding how she initially got the job in the Pampady B.M.M school. She had applied for the job in Pampady and had got first rank for the interview. But still she was not confident that she would get the job. The reason was that she didn’t have enough money to give as donation to those private schools which demand them. When she was asked to join Tabore, she came very hesitantly. But there no one asked her for donation and she happily started working as a teacher in the B.M.M School.
When they saw Rambachan a sea of happiness welled in the eyes of the mother, daughter and the son. Rambachan was surprised seeing their joy. Later the teacher explained that it was only due to the intercessory powers of Thirumeni that their financial situation improved and other difficulties removed.
Two and Half Lakh Rupees:
In that situation of joy, teacher’s mother gave Rambachan a bundle of notes. Rambachan was not willing to take it…but when they explained the whole story, Rambachan accepted it happily. It was an amount of two and half lakhs!! Rambachan exclaims that for a good purpose in the past 70 years no one had given him an amount so large.
Rambachan was so happy that the Lord provided him with the money to start his dream project of a centre to rehabilitate the children of HIV infected parents. The Lords will and the power of Pampady Thirumeni’s prayers was very much proven here. With this money, he bought some land near to the Dayara and started the construction of the building. Many good people continued to help the establishment of ‘Asha-Kiran’. It is the youngest of the various projects that are included in the Pothenpuram Complex now.
AIDS – Something for us to think about:
AIDS is a disease that has frightened the entire human race and is spreading far and wide in a fast pace. Its not just in the foreign lands, but its affecting even Kerala – the God’s own country. It is mostly seen as the devastating result of a spoiled life style and immoral behaviours prevalent in today’s society. But the truth is that there are many innocents who had to be a victim of the deadly disease due to reasons beyond their control. Whatever be the reason for the cause of this disease, AIDS infected patients are considered to be a curse in today’s society.
The group which has to face the worst discrimination is the children of the AIDS infected parents, who themselves are free from the disease. Even if they are disease free, they are kept apart in the society. How sad it is to grow up in such a situation where they have to face such problems and bare with the society who looks down on them as if they have done an unforgivable crime!! There are many children who are living examples of this discrimination: “Betson & Betsy, Akhshara & Ananthu” are just a few among them. They are even deprived of their primary education!! What can be the reason for this? It is not because we are not educated or that we have not received the proper insight into the reasons for this disease, but it is due to the wrong knowledge that results from misunderstandings and unwanted fear that is making us behave like this and make us stay away from even talking with the AIDS patients. It is the responsibility of the society to consider these patients and their innocent healthy children.
It is humane to cater to the needs and look after these children, who are the future citizens. Above all it is a divine act. There is no meaning in saying that we love God without loving our fellow beings. Similarly if we forget God and love only our fellow beings, that is selfish and sinful. It is this humane aspect which triggered the start of “Asha-Kiran”.
Asha-Kiran was built on a 1.5 acres of land that was bought for Rs.8 lakhs. The stone laying ceremony was conducted on 23 August, 2004 by Basalieus Marthoma Mathews II Bava, who was the Catholica then and Kanjirappally Diocese bishop, Most. Rev. Mar Mathew Araykkal. The cost of construction was estimated to be more that 50 lakhs. In addition money is required to look after the children, their education, rooms for the children, staff room, class rooms, office, kitchen, dining hall, prayer hall and a laboratory for testing the blood of the inmates. A seminar hall and a HIV/AIDS education centre is also being constructed. This would all be under the supervision of the sisters.
A helping hand for the needy:
For the proper functioning of Asha-Kiran, a trust of five members were started. They are: Dr. Mar Mathews Araykal as the chairman, P.C.Yohannan Ramban as the treasurer, Fr.Mathew Cheruthanickal as the treasurer, K.C. Dominic and Dr. K.C. Mammen. In addition there is also a advisory body consisting of our Bava Thirumeni, Philippose Mar Christom Metroplitan, Ex-CM Ommen Chandy, Bishop Sam Mathew, N.S.S Genereal Secreatary P.K.NarayanaPanicker, Orphanage Control Board chairman Pareekutty Haji and Kottayam District Collector Rani George. More than 20 lakh rupees is required for the completion of the first phase of the construction. This would be only possible with the help of prayers and financial support of all our friends. All that you can do is:
1. Remember this establishment in your prayers
2. Contribute a small amount from the bountiful that the Lord has presented you with.
3. Sponsor individual rooms/halls (Halls cost 2 lakh , Big Rooms – 1 lakh, Small Rooms – 50000 Rs.)
4. Sponsor a child (For 1 year, Rs. 6000 for a child)
5. Sponsor the food for the children
6. Present furniture and other items for the establishment or contribute money for the same
7. Sponsor for the child’s treatment
8. Please take initiative to spread word about this establishment in the society
P.C. Yohannan Ramban requests each and everyone to be part of this divine, humane and useful act and to help establish itself as a success.
The Bangalore based organization named “Round Table India” has promised their helping hands for Asha-Kiran. Through the project named, “Freedom Through Education”, they have sponsored 5 class rooms for the Asha Kiran. For the healthy growth of the children, a play ground is also being made. With the help of “Rain Water collection” (mazha-vella samvarani), pure drinking water is also being made available for the children.
May this organization grow to be a shelter for many a deserted soul, through the intercessory powers of Pampady Thirumeni.