KARAIKUDI:You might have spotted differently-abled people seeking alms. But have you ever come across any such person using the money so generated for charity? Meet R Selvaraj (73), who begs for a living but gainfully utilises the money by buying stationery for disadvantaged school students in the neighbourhood.
Selvaraj, a resident of Karunanidhi Nagar here is polio-afflicted, and has been a mendicant in the Karaikudi new bus stand since 2006, after he gave up his job as a cycle mechanic. “I’ve been helping disadvantaged students from 1968 after I witnessed children from poor families struggling to get educated due to financial problems. But only after 2006, when I didn’t get any job, including even in the cycle shop, I started imploring people for alms for the welfare of the students,” he said.
Selvaraj, however, added that he never appealed to anyone after telling them that he has helping students. “I frequent buses on the Madurai, Tirupattur and other selected routes as I am unable to handle all the routes. I seek alms from each passenger. Sometimes they ignore me. Some donate as much as they can. Even if people ignore me, I never take it to heart,” he said.
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“Though I board buses with difficultly, I do it for the children. If a student wants a bag, I try to get it and surprise him or her with it. When I do such an act, it gives me immense satisfaction,” said Selvaraj, an Economics graduate.
Through social media and by talking to people, he has got some benefactors. One such person from Chennai has been sending Rs 500 every month without fail for the last two years after learning about Selvaraj’s service.