KOCHI: Elsy Sabu, a resident of Palarivattom might not be a well-known name, but for the poor and downtrodden living on the streets, this woman is God’s messenger who satisfies their hunger and keeps them alive.
It was on September 2, 2003, that Elsy and her family took the maiden initiative to feed the poor. That day was special, as it was her elder son’s eighth birthday. “On that day, we made 25 packets of idli and sambhar to distribute to the poor. But soon, the food fell short, so we had to make more,” said Elsy. The smiling faces that they saw while providing the packets made a lasting impact on them.
The same day Elsy and her family decided to continue their work in the coming days and started an organisation called Love & Care. They were supported by their friends, acquaintances and various companies.
Today, they are feeding more than 300 starving people every day. Initially, they provided breakfast but now they are also providing meals. “Members of the High Court, IT offices, colleges, schools and many resident associations are making noteworthy contributions,” Elsy said. “About 30 housewives also provide food packets daily.”
Elsy said that each area is given a specific date and they have instilled a box there to put the food packets. They collect the packets in their private vehicles and distribute it to the poor, mentally challenged, bed-ridden patients and members of old age homes. Elsy said that it gave her great happiness when she saw the box filled near schools and colleges. “It is good to see students contributing to a social cause,” says Elsy. “Apart from food, Love & Care also provides dresses and any other useful products. When people shift from one place to another, and if they are not taking their refrigerator or television, we give it to the needy people.”
But there is a price that Elsy has paid. “Our family is unable to travel to any place together as we cannot miss feeding the poor for even one day,” she says. “Whether it is Christmas or Onam, I don’t travel to my native place and instead stay at Kochi to provide biriyani or sadya to those innocent people and I celebrate my festival by seeing their satisfied eyes.”