THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On World Hunger Day in May this year, Aswathy Nair, the saviour for the less fortunate on the waysides, and her mission Jwala Foundation again took to the streets, this time to extend a helping hand to the people to earn a livelihood. The lottery vendors were the luckiest and as many as 30 of them were gifted with plates to sell the fortune-bearing lottery tickets.
So, this Onam, a handpicked 10 of them assembled again at Hassan Marikar Hall, where many noble deeds of Jwala kick-started, to receive the keys for a better future, to upgrade their services to push-carts.
“After sometime, we realised that serving lunch packets to the hunger-stricken on roadsides will fill only a part. When we set out to provide lottery-vending plates, those who heard of it only wanted to discourage us and they had written off our venture. But, the beneficiaries have put up an astonishing performance, bettering their business day by day,” says Aswathy, director of Jwala Foundation. This is the second phase of the ‘Bhagyatheruvu’ project.
The first to receive the key directly from business person Martin Thomas for the cart was Shanmugham, whom Jwala has identified from the streets three years ago. He is assessed to be the most successful vendor of the Jwala-supported venture. “Until previous year, our Onam celebrations comprised having ‘sadya’ together and celebrate. So, this time, we wanted to add some difference,” she says.
Each cart is worth Rs 20,000. They will be made available at the areas preferred by the vendors.
The sales in the carts begin from Friday, the Thiruvonam day, onwards and the request placed by team Jwala to others is to stop over if you see the mark of Jwala on the carts and make some purchases, big or small, just to encourage them and add more glitter to their lives.
The programme was also attended by KTDC former chairman Cherian Philip, governing body member of Kudumbashree Swapna George, singer Sannidhanandan and V S Bindu.