The story of Saseendran Nair’s passion for service began way back in 1989 when he and his four friends set up Zeus Children Welfare Society in Malayinkeezhu.
They did their best to help the poor children in the neighbourhood pursue education by giving cash and buying books for them. Today, sitting at his office in Terumo Penpol, near General Hospital, Sasi, as he is known among friends, is still running around to do his bit to help the less fortunate.
“I joined this company (Terumo Penpol) in 1995. From then on, I took the initiative to collect funds from our employees here and use it to help the poor who need medical help and can’t afford it,” says Sasi.
One of these initiatives led him to get the company’s help in providing financial aid to a child in Bonacaud, whose two hands were burnt when it tried to grab its mother who committed suicide by self-immolation. “He needed five surgeries which would cost around Rs.1.25 lakh. From the company, we covered the expenses for one of these surgeries costing Rs.25,000,” recalls Sasi.
Seeing the child’s photo on a newspaper, what urged him first to do all he could to help him, was a father’s love. “I remembered my own son seeing the picture. He looks like that kid and is of the same age,” he adds.
Remembering your dear ones when you see a mishap is natural. But going out of your way to help the victim is not something everyone does. And this is where Sasi stands out as a man of action. So he took no time, when one after another, victims of tragedy took his attention, in lending a helping hand and pulling them back to life. An eight-year-old child in Vilappilsala, whose eyes were injured in an accident, was given Rs.21,000 for its surgery from Sasi’s company.
Soon, Saseendran Nair concentrated on one area of medical service - providing artificial legs for those who have lost one or both legs and are bed-ridden and poor. When one of the housekeeping staff had a problem with her father’s leg being amputed, under Sasi’s initiative, the company gave him an artificial leg. The next victim they helped was Janardhanan Nair. “He lost both his legs and artificial legs would not work for him. So we fixed his house’s leaky roof. We also sponsored the college fee of his child. So the legs we got him, we lent to another accident victim, Santhosh.”
For six years, Santhosh had been living confined to his bed. “He was living with some financial help from sympathetic relatives. With the artificial legs we got for him, he could go to work again. He now works in a furniture mart,” says Sasi, showing a thank-you note that Santhosh had sent him.
Sasi now has big plans. “We will be helping three persons who lost legs, two of them children. The other has three small kids, and their mother died some time ago. We are also offering the family financial help to send their kids to school for one year.” Total cost comes to around Rs. 1.5 lakh.
Terumo Penpol has also embarked on ventures of buying school uniforms for the poor children. “We bought uniforms for all the children in a girls’ school. On Oct.2, we hope to do the same in a boys’ school and also give them a school kit each,” says Sasi.
Sasi learns about these ‘victims’ from the limb centre at the Medical College and from other contacts. But his team makes sure that they help only those who deserve it. “For this, we visit the victim’s house and make sure he needs help, financially and medically.”
Even as he talks animatedly about all the cases, Saseendran Nair is too modest to give credit to himself. “Really, you should be writing about our Managing Director Mr C Balagopal and our Executive Director Mr Padmakumar. Without their help and support and generous offers, none of this would have been possible,” he says.
Managing Director of Terumo Penpol C Balagopal says about Sasi: “I hope more of our (Terumo Penpol) people will follow Sasi’s example.”
-- Cris Seetha