One of the most tragic natural disasters that India has faced till date is undoubtedly the 2004 Tsunami. It swept away several communities living near the Indian ocean with an overall death toll of 228,000 people, reports BBC. Parts of southern India were gravely affected with more than 15,000 killed and 42,000 rendered homeless in Tamil Nadu.
According to a report by News18, a couple from Tamil Nadu, Karibeeran Parameshvaran and his wife Choodamani, lost their 3 kids to the Tsunami. They were 5,9, and 12 years of age. After their loss, the couple seeped into depression and contemplated suicide.
However, one day the couple were walking from their hometown to a few nearby villages and found several children, mainly orphans, living on the streets without any form of shelter.
“I thought, I lost my children, why don’t I take these children and give them shelter,” said Choodamani.
The couple initially brought home 4 orphans. They then went on to set up an orphanage naming it ‘Nambikkai’, which means ‘hope’ in Tamil. Just within a few days, the number grew from 4 to 35!
The couple had found a new purpose in life. Currently, 45 kids live in their orphanage. They have built separate buildings for boys and girls and have invested all their savings in running the orphanage. Even their friends pitched in some money.
Many of the children have grown up and are now pursuing higher studies or are working for reputed companies. One of the kids, 21-year-old Sangeetha, completed her degree in Information Technology but has come back to help the couple run the orphanage.
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Parameshvaran, who is now 54 years old, feels a sense of fulfilment after caring for these children.
“This mission will continue for a lifetime, as long as the earth is moving, because we want to honour our own children,” he said.
By helping others, one tends to help themselves more than they realise. Parameshvaran and Choodamani have definitely taught us this today!