When Varghese Moolan, chairman of Moolan’s Group, shifted base to Angamaly after a 30-year-long stay in Saudi Arabia, he wanted to do something worthy for the people here.
His earlier work in helping children from poor families undergo kidney transplantation prompted him to move in that direction. That’s when he stumbled on the cause of children who were in dire need of surgeries for heart ailments.
“There were organisations that took care of children who needed medical assistance in other fields, but heart ailment was one area where the treatment was still unavailable for many poor people. In Kerala, the only place where free treatment was available was Sree Chitra in Thiruvananthapuram, but there too one had to wait for over three years. That’s how I decided on a programme that provides free surgeries for children with heart ailment,” says Varghese Moolan.
Then was conceived the ‘Touch the Heart’ programme with the assistance of Apollo Group of Hospitals, Chennai. An amount of Rs one crore was set aside for this. “Though the initial plan was to provide medical assistance to over 100 children, the cost was too high,” says the businessman, who is the first entrepreneur in Saudi Arabia to get an investment licence.
As part of the initiative, a medical camp to identify children who needed treatment was held at Angamaly. Over 75 children were selected and those with serious ailments were referred for treatment. The initiative that was conceived one year ago has helped bring light into the lives of over 45 children at present.
However, Varghese Moolan is very grounded. “Those who benefited from the scheme expressed interest to meet me. But, all I tell them is to show their gratitude to God,” he says. But, he did create an opportunity for the people to get together during his son’s wedding. “They all came and met actor Suresh Gopi and shared their gratitude and pangs,” he adds.
He is hailed as one of the most successful Malayalee entrepreneurs, but Varghese Moolan says what awaited him was an entirely different experience when he relocated to Kerala. “I really feel Kerala does not provide a good ambience for business growth. Things are far more professional in West Asia,” says Varghese Moolan. He adds that, in fact, the attitude towards industrialists in Kerala needs to change if development has to happen.
Varghese Moolan, the brain behind the organisation Global Malayalee Council, was also instrumental in providing rehabilitation and safe departure for many illegal labourers who were stuck in Saudi Arabia.