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Once a Beggar on the Streets, B Murugan Now Helps Those in Need

Meet Coimbatore's B Murugan, a man who was once homeless and now runs an NGO to help those in need

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B Murugan’s day starts at 3aam, when he and his wife wake up to prepare meals for the homeless and underprivileged in their community. They finish their meal preparation by 6 am and start their distribution. He founded an NGO called ‘Nizhal Maiyam’ in 1998 and has been continuing his service for more than 23 years.

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His NGO serves food to abandoned children and the homeless. It is quality controlled and is healthy as well. Making food items like biryani and other flavored food to ensure that those eating his food have variety. On a daily basis, the NGO provides food for more than 200 homeless people and 1000 children at 18 orphanages across the city. His journey began when he failed his class 12 exams and tried to commit suiside 3 times. He was a beggar on the streets of Coimbatore in 1992 and after seeing the plight of other homeless people around him, he decided to do something about it.

“A senior citizen named Karuppan helped me get a job in a small hotel. Later, I worked as a cleaner in a lorry for a few years. By this time, I had become an auto driver in a company. I started to earn Rs 3,000 as salary. In 1998, taking the first step towards my dream, I started cooking and distributing food to 25 destitute people on Mettupalayam Road on Sundays.”

“When my friends and the company owner came to know about this, they started supporting me by giving me money, vegetables, rice and other grocery items. With the extra help, I started pitching in a portion of my salary for it as well. After starting Nizhal Maiyam, a few volunteers got inspired by our work and joined us,” he said. He said after the volunteers joined in 2011, they have been able to distribute food daily to 200 impoverished people.

Murugan’s work is tiresome and thankless but he still wants to do more. “Another dream of mine is to make Coimbatore a beggar-free city. We need an orphanage to take care of abandoned children and adults,” he said. In a statement to The New Indian Express, one of the people who volunteers for the NGO V Krishnakumar,”Nearly 15 years ago, I was inspired by Murugan’s work and decided to join him.” Another volunteer said during the lockdown in 2021, they supplied food to 2.45 lakh people across the district with the help of many supporters.

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Murugan’s work is far from over and he continues to feed more and more people everyday with the help of his NGO. He has a rigorous routine of working 12-15 hour days in an effort to make his city a better place and help those around him.

(With inputs from The New Indian Express)

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Topics:  Food   NGO 

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