KOCHI: There are many empaths around us whose hearts ache for those in pain, even as they are struggling. Sheeba Jose, a native of Vyttila in Kochi, is one of them. Living with her husband Jose, an autorickshaw driver and their child Ebin Jose, a Class X student, Sheeba earns a meagre living by working as an office assistant.
But it doesn’t take riches to be kind. When Sheeba encountered a destitute who was helplessly eating from a garbage bin, she had an epiphany. “I was on my way to attend the wedding anniversary of my friend. I saw a man eating out of a garbage pile and it broke my heart. I just wanted to help him however I could,” said Sheeba.
That is how the idea to feed the destitute came about. When she started doing it during the first lockdown, Sheeba had a small amount of money and a lot of resilience in hand “My husband helped me by contributing from his income. I chip in from my daily earnings. We prepare food packets and distribute them to around 100 destitute living on the streets of Kochi every weekend,” she said.
The couple travels in their autorickshaw to distribute the food kits. “In the beginning, we were worried about catching Covid too. But we didn’t. These helpless people think of us as a family now,” said the 42-year-old. Now, the couple is planning to expand the horizon of their kindness. “My entire family is directly involved in the process and it often pains us when we fail to meet the demand at times.
Even when other organisations have stopped their food distributions, we haven’t. After understanding my struggle, many of my friends also helped me within their capacity. Now, our neighbours are also helping us prepare and pack the food. We are also planning to distribute blankets to the destitute. We hope our humble effort inspires more people,” added Sheeba.
All hands on deck
After understanding Sheeba’s struggle, many of her friends also started helping her. Now, her neighbours are also helping the family prepare and pack food. Sheeba hopes more people would come forward to the aid of the destitute.