What do you do when you find someone begging for water on the streets?
What do you do when you find an old person being abandoned on the streets?
Coming to the point, how do you react when you find a homeless person lying dead on the road?
It’s quite common to see narrow faces during such incidents and some people do not even bother owing to their busy schedules. But, here is one youngster who works exclusively for the abandoned and homeless people and he is Khaalid Ahamed.
Early days of volunteering
Khaalid is on his mid-20s but his emotional maturity is extraordinary. When we asked about his early days, he recollected his times at the college where he pursued Mechanical Engineering.
He turned enthusiastic when we asked how his passion for social service started:
I always had that notion to do something for society and that’s when I joined Thozhan. When I was in my home town in Adhirampattinam, I used to associate with Crescent Blood Donors and coordinate blood arrangement activities for patients in need and I still continue doing it.
But, I am fortunate that my friends, seniors, and juniors along with the staffs have also shown the support towards blood donation and arrangement on a patient basis.
Khaalid has constantly spread awareness about blood donation to his circle and gathered a number of volunteers to donate blood in cases of emergency. By this act, he has been able to save the lives of many.
No, they don’t take a penny for this noble act!
How did Uravugal idea happen?
Khaalid says, “I have been an active volunteer in a number of NGOs including Arappor Iyakkam. The reason for this vast list is because I felt that every person should know his right and Arappor Iyakkam has taught me my rights and my role in this society. The rest of the social organizations have transformed me into a better leader”.
On one fine day, Khaalid realized that he needs to give back to society, especially to the homeless people and that’s when he found that there is no burial service available for them. He says, “I also had personal incidents that pushed me further to initiate this cause”.
It was on 27th July 2017 when the social organization, Uravugal Trust, was launched with the sole aim to give a dignified burial to unclaimed dead bodies.
How was the response from your family?
Originating from an orthodox background that strictly encourages community customs to follow, Khaalid has not received instant support for his work from his kith and kin but then, the purity and vision behind the act made a part of them to support. With recognitions overflowing everywhere, many others got convinced and began to lend their hands.
The Uravugal Journey
Uravugal, in Tamil, means relationships and the NGO have awakened the social senses of people with its mission and vision. Khaalid had initially started with few volunteers and as of 2019, the team has expanded over 100 volunteers where female volunteers also take charge in the coordination and burial. It was also possible for Uravugal Trust to purchase an ambulance by crowdfunding. Even if a family doesn’t have enough money to transport the corpse to the hometown, this ambulance can be of help.
In a short span of 1.5 years, the social organization has created a rapport with government hospitals and police stations where the latter informed the former about the unclaimed bodies and then the former processes for burial.
Over 170 unclaimed bodies have been buried and 20 rescues of abandoned people have been carried out.
Asking about the memorable experiences, he recalls the burial of a just born child whose parents were unable to afford the expenses and the team carried it out on their behalf. He also recalls the burial of a transwoman’s body fragmented into pieces. Perhaps, he states how welcoming the government officials are to this move.
Uravugal trust has bagged a number of accolades and Khaalid also offers guest lectures to college students about moral science and reality. In fact, his talk has transformed the lives of many girls who have had relationship problems, low-esteem problems, and personal issues.
The other side of Khaalid
This social changemaker has another side which is, an entrepreneur. He owns Color Drops Painting, an organization that offers end-to-end painting solutions. He beautifully manages his social work, business and family life.
Few minutes of talk with this youngster can ignite your mind too!