March 1, 2002

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Sugathan from Vazhayila on the Thiruvananthapuram- Nedumangad highway


Voluntary Organisations may offer free buttermilk to weary pilgrims during festivals once or twice a year.  But an individual offering it daily to thirsty travellers for the past 26 years must surely be out of the ordinary.

Meet Sugathan from Vazhayila on the Thiruvananthapuram- Nedumangad highway.  He is a casual labourer who hardly works 15 days a month.  The rest of the time he devotes to serving people.  His wife and two children extend support to his effort.  Sugathan’s philanthropic roots could be traced to his grandfather Kochunarayanan Vaidyar who was a rich landowner known for his service to people.

In the beginning Sugathan raised 4 cows but sold 3 on account of financial difficulties.  Out of 12 litres of milk he gets daily, he sells 10 litres to nearby shops and uses the balance to prepare buttermilk.

Though born in a rich family, he got only 2 cents of land after partition.  His brothers and sisters, who are supposed to be well of, disapprove of his service and advise him to find a better job to run the family.

But Sugathan does not consider service a burden to him.  He is a firm devotee of Lord Krishna and considers himself a tool in His hand.  This belief is his strength.

Although many people promised him financial help, nothing materialized.  Sugathan has ambition to buy one more cow so that he can make more buttermilk.  The local Grama Panchayat also did not care about his service.  “If they had given me some help under the beneficiary scheme, it would have been helpful”, he said.

Courtesy: The New Indian Express

Contributed by: Administrator