How it all Began?
Little Drops was founded on 21st January 1991 by two like-minded childhood friends, C Selvaraj Bovas and Edgar Jones Paul
It all started with a desire to help the destitute and homeless old men and women who are such a common sight on our streets. Moved by their plight, the two friends decided to do something about it. At that time, Paul was working with an airline company and Bovas was running an electrical shop.
One evening, they saw an old man (who they were later to find, was called Rahim) on the streets of Royapuram in Chennai. He was about 80 years old, painfully starved and covered with sores
Taking the help of a ‘Missionaries of Charity’ ambulance (The Missionaries of Charity is the order started by Mother Theresa in India), they carried the old man home. It was late in the night and the old man could barely speak. With difficulty they managed to get his name and address
They washed and fed him and cleaned his sores. But it was too late. Weakened by so much deprivation, he only lived with them for 48 hours. It was 2 PM when he died and they realised with a shock, that though they were prepared with food, clothing, shelter and medicines, they were not prepared to deal with death.
They had to look for a doctor to certify his death, arrange for a coffin and a place to bury him. And all before dusk. By 9 PM, the coffin was ready and a burial space arranged. But taking him on his last journey was difficult too. The undertakers were too expensive and no one else would take a coffin. Finally, they convinced the owner of a horse cart (or a ‘Jutka) to carry the coffin. It was 11 PM.
The funeral was over by midnight. But the story of Rahim does not end there.
They placed a notice in the paper about his death and his son responded. Rahim was not alone. He had, as old people with dementia sometimes do, wandered away from his family while at the railway station. They had been looking for him ever since.
Paul and Bovas could not reunite the son with the father, but they could assure him that his last hours were spent with people who cared for him, and looked after him as well his own son would have done.
Rahim was only the first. There are many, many such men and women, each with their own story of a life turned to despair through misfortune, who found solace, comfort and sometimes even a new lease of life, through the care and warmth of the institution these two men have built.
There is the story of Kaseenadhan, who was discovered as a ‘bundle of dirty cloth’ by Bovas, in a market, one Sunday morning. He noticed that the bundle moved. Lifting one end, he saw under it, an old man with a huge ulcer on his foot, unable to move, starved and groaning in pain. He was carried to the Home and treated for over 3 years. Today he serves as the watchman at the gate during the day and attends to other residents in his dormitory during the night.
Then there is the story of ...
When asked about their work, Paul and Bovas simply say “All our residents, though picked up as destitutes, become a part of our family and enjoy a sense of belonging. Sharing our lives with those who have no one to call their own, completes life for us”.