Earnest Hemingway once said, “The world is a fine place worth fighting for,” and this gentleman Wilfred Culas is fighting in this world for a great cause. This down-to- earth SBI assistant is working day and night to make the Vizhinjam mother port a reality. I hardly spent an hour with him, but left his house with a handful of information about the Vizhinjam project; he is indeed a veritable encyclopedia of this project.
What makes him so special? “I have spent half my life on this project. I have suffered a lot, but Iwill not put my foot back until I reach my destination,” says Culas with determination. We all speak about Vizhinjam; we criticize our administrators for taking no action; we blame the Centre for not granting consent; we sit in front of our TV screens and watch discussions and talks on Vizhinjam; but what have we done so far to make this dream project a reality? This is what makes this ordinary man someone special, because he has not only spent his time for this cause in which he believes ardently, but also his wealth and energy.
“I have distributed newsletters and pamphlets with a vicious sun beating down my back for hours. I don’t feel tired because I know that all these efforts will one day lead to the prosperity of my nation. But I feel tired when I realize that my fellow friends are not trying to understand the value of this project,”admits Wilfred Culas.
Wilfred with the paper cuttings of Vizhinjam Project
“I’m not a politician or a bureaucrat, but I have studied this project in detail and I know that a port in Vizhinjam is a giant step that can take India towards being a major power in the world,” says Wilfred Culas with a conviction that only indepth knowledge can give. He eats, drinks, sleeps and dreams Vizhinjam, so much so that he has reservedone of his houses, solely for activities related to this project. “I could get atleast Rs. 5.000 if I rent out this house. But I don’t want to do it,” he says.
Wilfred with the poster
This man does not receive much support from his family, but he is not concerned about it. “How can you blame a wife if her husband is spending his time for social activities when he is required at his home with his family?” asks Culas. “But I don’t need to worry about all these things. I’m on a long journey and I have to overcome several hurdles in the process,” he says.
“I often find that even the young generation knows nothing much about this project. When I distribute pamphlets to youngsters they pose questions about this project and I feel really happy to clarify their doubts. Actually the public is unaware about the immense possibilities of this project,” he says.
Vizhinjam is a gift from God, but we are not using it. We are just acting as bench sitters and this is what distinguishes Wilfred Culas from us. He refuses to be an armchair activist and is out there in the field, talking, acting and protesting for Vizhinjam. He is not a rich man, just an ordinary middle class Indian, but still he fights for the cause he believes in with dedication and it is men like him who can take India ahead.