Here’s How A ‘Beggar’ From Chennai’s Streets Reached Cambridge

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I saw two men lying on a push-cart with their torsos covered with a big plastic sheet to save them in case it rained and was instantaneously reminded of all the complains I have about my room. Looking at them, I thought that I have a much better place to sleep after a tiresome day and I moved on with this realization.

Representative Image | Photo: R. Easwarraj/thehindu.com
Representative Image | Photo: R. Easwarraj/thehindu.com

When we see impoverished people lying on the streets or begging, pity often overwhelms us but does it go any further than a sad feeling? Not really. Hand over ten bucks and you’re good to go. But not all people are like the most of us. They go out of their way to help people who are in need.

Such is this duo- Uma Muthuraman and Muthuraman- that runs the Suyam Charitable Trust. The duo wanted to make a video on street children titled Pavement Flower for which Uma had travelled to Kilapuk water tank area where she met Jayavel, reports India Today.

Uma Muthuraman | tamilnadu.indiaeveryday.in
Uma Muthuraman | tamilnadu.indiaeveryday.in

After the failure of their crops, Jayavel’s family had relocated from Nellore to Chennai in the 80s and since then resorted to beggary to make ends meet.

“My people actually didn’t like them (Uma). We even tried to hurt them as we had so many people approaching us under the pretext of helping. But they only used our name to get government funds,” Jayavel told India Today. However, his family gradually understood that Uma genuinely wanted to help them.

The Muthuramans took Jayavel under their care and protection in 1999, leaving his alcoholic mother the way she was. Jayavel was subsequently enrolled into a school. Disapproving of her mother’s drinking habit, Jayavel (now 22) meets her only once a month.

suyam.org
suyam.org

“Everyone in the school knew about me and my family. As we used to live right on the corner of the school on the pavement but that didn’t make any difference to me,” he says. Like any other child, he found it hard to concentrate on studies initially.

Jayavel, however, eventually found his interests lying in his textbooks and started scoring well. He obtained respectable marks in the 12th grade and that encouraged people to donate for his further studies. He then cleared Cambridge University’s entrance exam and got through the Performance Car Enhancement Technology Engineering course at Glendwr University in Wales, UK.

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Jayavel: A Role Model

Although the Muthuramans have helped 95 percent families come out of the grasps of beggary, they want to project Jayavel “as a role model in front of his entire community.” It was them who propelled him towards securing a better future but Jayavel is to be equally commended for the sincerity that he has shown. He has made the most of the opportunities that have been laid before him. He has certainly become an inspiration for the rest of the kids.

indiatoday.indiatoday.in
indiatoday.indiatoday.in

Jayavel is now set to study further at the University of Turin in Italy. After the 17 lakh rupees that they raised for his studies in London, the Muthuramans now need 8 lakh rupees more for his studies in Italy and they do not want his studies to get interrupted.

Well, we hope they achieve the amount they need and, with the hearts of gold that they have, keep pushing more and more destitute children towards a brighter future.

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