The Madras high court today passed a verdict that the police and rescue the mentally disabled and house them at Akshaya – CourtOrderCopy
The Madras high court today passed a verdict that the police and rescue the mentally disabled and house them at Akshaya – CourtOrderCopy
Akshaya has always been forthright, factual and timely regarding the happenings at Akshaya. Although Akshaya, Krishnan, the volunteers and the Akshaya Home staff were subjected to a harrowing ordeal for over three months, we had no choice but to remain silent. It was virtually impossible to make sense of the nightmare of false accusations that were levied against Akshaya and we were further restrained by a web of confusing judicial proceedings. In fairness to all concerned, including our donors and supporters, Akshaya had no choice but to remain resolutely silently, and to work feverishly to document and present the facts to the authorities. The last 100 days were physical and mental agonies for those that have given so much to bring help and compassion to the helpless.
On June 5th, 2014 Mehar Nisha, a mentally challenged Akshaya resident, ran away from the Akshaya Home to a nearby village. Being in a mental frenzy and having lost most of her clothes she attracted a large crowd to whom she alleged she had been sexually assaulted while held against her will at the Akshaya Home. She also claimed there were mysterious deaths, kidney stealing was prevalent, and X-rated films were being made at the Akshaya Home.
A riot instigated by a group from the Popular front of India quickly broke out. Akshaya’s staff members, who came to the village to bring Nisha back, were assaulted by the mob, and a woman staff member had her clothes pulled off. Neither of these abusive acts were recognized or reported by the media nor the organizations that later filed complaints against Akshaya.
The next day the Collector’s office sent a team to the Akshaya Home to investigate the allegations. They officially reported that Akshaya was providing excellent care to the residents, and they could find no evidence of wrongdoing. At this point any rational individual or organization would have concluded that the deranged woman was not to be believed. Without justification the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) filed a lawsuit demanding all allegations be further investigated. As a result of the unjustified demand, 100 days of intense investigation ensued. All branches of intelligence, including the CBI, were dispatched to the Akshaya Home to scrutinize all records.
A court appointed Advocate Commissioner and psychologist brought government doctors to the Akshaya Home to examine the 535 residents. After giving less than two minutes per patient examination, they concluded that 222 of the residents should be released and reunited with families. The irrationality of these findings becomes quite acute when the facts are considered:
• The 222 residents to be released were physically and/or mentally challenged defenseless residents.
• Many of those residents to be released did not have families that could be identified and contacted, and most of those contacted did not want the person returned to them.
Based on the doctors’ findings the court issued orders to reunite the 222 residents with their families, and provided court personnel the funds to implement the orders. It was very painful for all of us to submit to the irrationality of the order but based on the advise of our legal counsel we acquiesced to the order as have no hidden agenda in taking care of the destitute – only compassion for a fellow human being that is helpless. The court personnel reunited a few of the residents with their families but the rest were released on the streets of Madurai with just a few rupees in their pockets. The irony is that these are the same streets we had rescued these people from and to bathe, clothe, fed and safely shelter them. Of the 222 released by the court’s order 140 still exist on the streets.
While these series of events were difficult for all of us, there were two notable moments that stand out as bright beacons of hope. Shortly after the charges had been brought against Akshaya we were blessed with the support of counsel G. R. Swaminathan. He is well respected in judicial circles for his legal wisdom, and he is greatly respected by all for his genuine compassion and determination for the truth. The other beacon of hope was the sitting of a new judge on the court bench.
Upon reviewing the case the new judge immediately realized the report by the Advocate Commissioner was not accurate and misrepresented the facts. Upon seeing pictures of the Akshaya Home the judge realized that a destitute person living on the streets would find the conditions at the Akshaya Home wonderful beyond belief. Unfortunately those that sought to bring shame to Akshaya were not ready to give up their vendetta. Endless abuses were directed at the Akshaya team as a group and as individuals, abuses that proved futile against the strength of those that are the heart of Akshaya. The continued investigations went well beyond the paper records, and included drug tests of staff, campus searches with cadaver dogs, probing of individuals’ private affairs, and much more. While having impeccable records was important, the greatest factor that brought Akshaya through the 100 days of the ordeal was the strength of the entire staff and supporting doctors, and the leadership of Krishnan. Knowing the truth, they all stood with Akshaya knowing they would all be exonerated.
During the course of these terrible events the media assumed the charges were valid and used the gossip from the streets to publish inaccurate and damaging stories of the alleged mistreatment. Not one media outlet took time to visit the Akshaya Home to verify the validity of what they were publishing in spite of the fact that they were invited to do so. Many of the media outlets such as The Hindu, The tamil papers have global distribution, which gave rise to harsh and unjustified abuse on Internet social forums.
The air was full of hope and expectation in the courtroom. The judge was to announce the verdict – the ordeal would soon be over. The judge clearly and without equivocation exonerated Akshaya on all charges. The Akshaya team’s sense of relief, however, was short-lived. A resident of the Akshaya Home had recently died and the body was handed over to the doctors, as required by law, for a post mortem. Soon accusations started flying that the body had been mishandled and post mortem was not accurate. Although Akshaya was not involved with the issues, the news media and AIDWA seized the moment in an attempt to imply Akshaya was “once again” at fault. The honorable justices saw through the conspiracy, as it was unfolding and advised that the issues with the doctors and government would be handled as a separate case. Realizing we could be subjected to more unjustified attacks as we fulfilled our mission, a request was filed with the court asking for police assistance during all rescues.
The final court day was at hand and all interesting parties gathered for the formal issuance of the written verdict. Akshaya was fully exonerated. To be sure the world understood Akshaya’s innocence the judge, speaking from the bench, thanked Krishnan and Akshaya for their contribution to society and implored them to keep up their good work. Today Akshaya stands tall in the eyes of those that serve and support her. Akshaya is again devoting her energy to the mission of helping the helpless.
This ordeal has shown the strength and depth of devotion of the Akshaya staff, volunteers and their leader Krishnan. There are other important people that made significant contributions to be sure the truth was brought to light – our supporters that stood by us throughout the ordeal certainly deserve mention. While working behind the scenes but strongly guiding Akshaya’s direction in bringing the truth to light was our most honorable counsel Mr. G. R. Swaminathan and his support team. Upon hearing the accusations brought against Akshaya, Mr. G. R. Swaminathan visited the Akshaya Home and determined on his own that Akshaya was innocent and took on the significant challenge of representing Akshaya and Krishnan in the legal proceedings. He did this out of a belief that the truth must prevail, and he provided all the much needed legal support pro bono. Learned Legal counsel Yashodhvardhanji also worked for Akshaya’s cause pro bono.
The events of the last 100 days have come to a conclusion, at least for the events in the public eye. Krishnan and the Akshaya team have been left with an indelible mark on their persona – it was an ordeal that will never be forgotten. Much work has to be done to bring the daily operations of the Akshaya Home back to normal and to mitigate the impact of substantial unexpected expenses. The biggest challenge is to let the world know that Akshaya has again met a challenge to its integrity and shown it is worthy of its reputation of trust and compassion. This will be a sizable task as it lies in the hands of the media and organizations that so quickly tried Akshaya in the eyes of the public without taking a moment’s time to seek the truth. While the sensational accusations proved to be a catalyst for media attention the fact that Akshaya has been totally exonerated has been totally ignored by the media and the misguided accusers have given no apologies. The only mention of the final court proceeds was a short paragraph that left the reader thinking Akshaya had failed to follow certain undefined legal procedures.
We know differently and our stand is further supported by the fact that the court has now directed the police to seek out the 140 helpless souls wondering the streets of Madurai and bring them back to the Akshaya Home. Help us spread the word of Akshaya’s exoneration, help us by continuing your faithful support, help us in our effort to provide care and compassion to the abandoned helpless.
Attached is the verdict from the courts – Akshaya Trust – Court Verdict
Through the eyes of a volunteer: (The year in review)
All – Wish you and yours a very happy new year. Hope all your dreams, wishes and hopes come true. I am sending the wishes a little early since I will be in India on New years day and did not want to miss wishing all of you. Those of you who visit our blog, face book page and twitter feed – have been a great support to our team. You have always picked us up and cheered us on when we have needed you the most.
The year 2013 has been remarkable, a roller coaster ride for sure but we at Akshaya have come out ahead as we have been able to save nearly 450 souls. The home inauguration was a major mile stone, the starting of the second phase of construction yet another mile stone – so a lot of new milestones and many more to come. Once I am in Madurai – I will post more stories from the ground.
Tons of love to all of you from all of us at Akshaya. Keep your warm thoughts coming. Each of us are on this earth for a purpose – so let us all find that purpose if we already have not found it, find inner peace and enjoy this beautiful journey on earth.
A young man of in 2002 decided to quit his lucrative job as a chef and serve human kind. He served meals to the uncared mentally disabled and senior homeless on the streets of Madurai. He had a vision of not just feeding those in need but to eventually give them a place to call home. This man is Narayanan Krishnan and the home he has managed to build for the homeless helpless is the Akshaya home. We attempt to present to you the work that Akshaya and Krishnan are engaged in to serve humanity.
Akshaya’s work goes on 24/7 with Krishnan and team working tirelessly to help the helpless. As on date after Akshaya home was inaugurated on May 9th, 2013 – just in 4 short months we have housed 450 residents. They range anywhere from mentally disabled, to mentally disabled and pregnant to senior homeless citizens. They now have a place to call home. Through our face book and blog we have been brining to you stories of survival, stories of rehabilitation, stories of reunion. All this work takes effort and money. As a truly non profit organization lead by our fearless leader – all our trustees both in India and abroad are volunteers. All the money that is donated to us goes straight to the cause. Please support us – join us on November 2nd at Chabot college auditorium, Hayward, California for a musical evening. The local band Illayaragam performs for a social cause. Krishnan will be attending the event.
This question was posed to Narayanan Krishnan and Akshaya trust by Epoch awards – http://epochawards.com. Krishnan has been selected as a nominee for the Epoch awards 2013. To understand what $500 would mean to Akshaya please listen to the story of Pandi and his journey from the cement tube to the Akshaya home.
Pandi Akshaya’s poster child – who we called the man in the cement tube sat in this tube since the time Krishnan was out serving on the streets in 2002. Pandi was rendered mentally disabled due to a blow at the base of his neck per some folks who have known Pandi for a long time. Pandi would wait for his food from Krishnan and Akshaya every day for the past 12 years.
Krishnan has been feeding the mentally disabled homeless and helpless since 2002. He has been serving nearly 400 to 450 such helpless on the streets of Madurai. But even as he served on the streets , he had a vision to construct a home to house the helpless and be able to help them get better and hopefully some day reunite them with their families He kept working on this dream vision by purchasing land in the outskirts of Madurai city with the help of his father. Slowly but surely as the donations came in he accumulated 3.2 acres of land to construct the Akshaya home. On May 9th, 2013 Akshaya home was inaugurated. On May 10th, Krishnan decided to rescue Pandi from the streets. Pandi had waited long enough to come home. You can see the picture of Pandi’s rescue. It was a hot summer morning in a very busy Madurai, with traffic everywhere. Pandi saw all the people around him and was spooked. He hesitated to get into the Akshaya ambulance. Krishnan sat in the ambulance with the other helpless he had rescued. The stench from inside the ambulance was over powering. Yet Krishnan sat there with Pandi oblivious to the smell, dirt and grime.
The first couple days Pandi sat in a corner, made no eye contact and did not want to talk to anyone. He refused to eat or sleep. He was scared. But in just a few weeks – he realized this was his home. He started warming up to everyone. After two months he plays ball with the other residents.He serves tea at the Akshaya kitchen. Akshaya is trying to help our residents gain strength in their arms and legs. Pandi slept in the cement tube for so long that his legs are bowed. Our nursing staff makes him walk around the Akshaya campus every day.
Akshaya has 402 residents in just about 3 months. We have several Pandi’s on our campus and since we are crowded and filled to capacity we have started construction of the second phase of the Akshaya home. $500 would feed our 402 residents 3 times a day. Please join us , support us and help us complete the construction and bring to you the stories of many more Pandi’s who can be rehabilitated by love, care and Compassion. For Akshaya every $ is precious and we can certainly use the $500 should be win it in the Epoch raffle.
To contribute check out our indiegogo link at http://igg.me/at/akshayaUSA
Thanks Epoch awards for accepting the nomination of Krishnan and Akshaya.
In just a little over 2 months, Akshaya home is filled to capacity and beyond. We have 400 residents on campus. We are starting the second phase of construction to add additional residential dormitories and volunteer space. To construct the additional space we need to raise $300,000/- We have set up a campaign on Indiegogo. Please contribute at: