Auto Raja who spent his childhood stealing and his teenage by threatening people is spending his adulthood by spreading happiness and joy in the lives of people who have been neglected and rejected by the society. This man has changed the lives of nearly 10,000 people in the last 20 years and continues to help destitute people on a daily basis. Abdul Kalam Fan Club salutes this amazing human being for his noble work and requests its followers to help this man in any which way possible.
The journey from being a threat to society to becoming the ‘Hero’ of the society.
Auto Raja spent childhood with his thief friends and along with them used to steal items, threaten his classmates and used to do all the illegal activities just to make enough money to be able to drink alcohol with his friends. He was so much into stealing items that he did not even spare his own mother. He even stole his mother’s wedding saree and also her mangal sutra to satisfy his gambling and drinking needs. The family members who could not stand him anymore, threw him out of the house cursing, “Go and die, you are a shame to our name.”
This humiliation and expulsion did not amend Auto Raja but made him much worse. He continued his old ways of stealing, gambling and drinking without giving it a thought about how adversely it will impact his future. Even though he migrated to Chennai and started working as a dish washer in a hotel, he stole there too and was kicked out of the hotel. Later he was thrown into jail for 10 days owing to his habit of stealing things from people. The 10 days that he spent in jail was an experience worse than hell. There was no separate toilet where he could relieve himself, and due to the smell and torture he faced there he fell sick.
The 16-year-old Raja could not take it anymore and pleaded to God that if God helped him get out this mess, he would change his life for better. “I made a deal with God. You get me out of prison, and I will lead an honest and good life”. This man who was into all sorts of bad activities when he was just 16 years old vowed to amend his life, and he kept the promise he made to god. Thus Raja came back to Bengaluru and with the support of his family started a new life as a rickshaw driver.
During his trips around the city carrying the passengers from one place to another, Raja used to feel for the destitute that were spread all over the city. Initially, he helped them by providing meals, water and all the ways he could but that did not satisfy him. He wanted to do something big for them, something that would change their lives for better. So after a lot of struggles, he finally picked up a destitute man who was just skin and bones lying near the garbage in Binnypet. He gave the man a haircut; he shaved the destitute’s beard, applied antiseptics on him and gave him new clothes to wear. That’s when he got this idea of building a home for the destitute and help them lead a dignified life where they would be free of any worries. So keeping this thought in the background, he went on helping people who were either mentally challenged, were counting their last few days or those who were suffering from massive diseases.
For Raja who did not have enough money to feed his own family, providing food to these destitute was a dream let alone building a shelter for them. But then God always has his way of helping people who want to help others. A man named SR Manohar came forward and helped Raja by providing funds to take care of these people. The India Campus Crusade for Christ also came forward to help him and lastly the then Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr. H. D. Kumaraswamy helped Raja by providing him with land and building needed to provide shelter to these people.
Today Raja takes care of more than 750 people and has helped over 10,000 people from the past 20 years. Raja says he has also helped people die a dignified death by making sure that their last wishes are fulfilled. Raja says people who are on death bed wished for watching a movie, listening to a song and so on and he made sure that their last wishes were fulfilled before they breathed their last. Over the past 20 years, Raja has also cremated more than 2000 dead bodies.
Home of Hope, Auto Raja’s abode for the destitute is currently facing a shortage of water and has to spend over Rs. 50000 to Rs. 60000 a month to fulfill their water needs. He also spends Rs. 12,00,000 every month to provide necessities of life of the 750 destitute that are staying at his place.
Reji Koshy, a 45-year-old Real Estate Consultant, has taken the responsibility of arranging funds to help Raja run the place smoothly and also to find a permanent solution to water woes faced by the destitute’s.
Auto Raja who is still not satisfied with the amount of work he is doing says once the water problem gets resolved, NAMI (New Ark Mission of India) plans on extending its reach to ensure that there are no more destitute on the streets of India. When asked how he will be able to sustain and run the organization without any support in sight he reminds that “I made a deal with God. I am keeping my part of the bargain; he has to keep his”.
Let us all wish that Auto Raja will get support from all corners of the nation and beyond and he will be empowered by people to help more and destitute so that those neglected people will also lead a dignified life. Once again we at Abdul Kalam Fan Club urge you to help Auto Raja by any which way you can.