VISAKHAPATNAM: Penury was never a deterrent for Kaki Santosh Kumar, a 25-year-old from Malkapuram, to help others in dire need of money. Now a contract staffer at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam, he feeds the poor and donates groceries, sanitiser and masks to orphanages and inmates of home for the visually challenged run by Helen Keller Association in MVP Colony. Santosh says he needs little for himself as he is not married, and spends most of his meagre income on volunteer works and donations.
Santosh started his volunteer service in 2015, initially by donating blood. Later, he and his friends started distributing food packets to the destitute on Station Road.He continued the food distribution even when his friends stopped turning up. The sense of volunteerism grew in him, and Santosh even gives the destitute a shave and haircut whenever he finds time.
With partial lockdown staging a comeback, Santosh resumed distributing food to the stranded at the railway station. “I prefer feeding the poor and children than partying with friends. I’m lucky to have friends who understand my choices, and join me in my volunteer works.”
His father hailed from Koruprolu near Chodavaram and migrated to the city even before his birth. He credits his achievements and service attitude to his mother, who brought him up alone after the death of his father.
Santosh said he himself has a first-hand experience of penury and difficulties, which prompted him to get involved in volunteerism. When he started, he was just a student and continued with his goals even when had menial jobs.
His service activities have won him ‘Champion of Charity’ award from the Champion Book of World Records. He received the award from the district collector recently. Santosh, however, said he had never done any charity or voluntary service for fame or awards. “I would have done it even without awards because I believe in serving mankind.”