The Feeding Knight On His Speeding White Steed
We were tipped off about today’s Unsung
Hero by our friend Indrajith. Following his suggestion, we hung around
the Secretariat to catch our hero in action.
As usual, the front
of the secretariat is filled with protestors, press photographers and
the police. We approached press photographer Sajith and enquired about
this man. He told us that he would be there soon on his white bike and
asked us to wait.
It was 12.30 p.m. and the Statue road
was teeming. In that throng, we saw a man moving very slowly, seeking
out people. Catching sight of the white bike, a man from the crowd
rushes towards him. He is a ‘Sathyagrahi’who has spent more than a year
protesting in front of the secretariat with his wife.
The man in
the white bike handed over a packet to him and spoke something to him.
Mission accomplished, the bike moves on ahead, once again seeking...
The man and his bike is a regular sight in front of the
Secretariat. What he seeks are hungry mouths which he feeds unfailingly
day in and day out. This is no ordinary sight you see every day in this
age when we are too busy even to notice the people immediately around
We approached this benevolent ‘knight’ on his white
‘charger’ to know what made him such a ‘saviour’.
His name is Suralayam Raveendran and he
is from Nedumangadu, where he is the manager of two CBSE Schools named
Suralayam and Navabharath English Medium School which has classes upto
the 6th standard. Raveendran starts his feeding rounds every morning at
8.30, with breakfast. Lunch follows till 2.30 pm.
Raveendran’s words, “I bring breakfast from a hotel in Vazhayila. At
noon, I purchase food from the lady who sells meals by the side of the
Secretariat. I give the food to anyone who stretches out their hand to
He has been feeding the hungry on the
streets for the past 30 years and this sense of charity is something
that runs in his family. It was “I saw this custom followed by my
grandmother from my childhood. My uncles used to be in Germany back
then and so we had a steady income. In those days, the needy used to
come home and ask grandma for help. Now the situation has changed and no
one come to us anymore. So I come out and provide food for those who
need it. By doing so, I feel that I am able to give some help to those
ignored by the world.”
The money for buying food is from his
pocket and he takes no help from others for this. He believes that
collecting money from others diminishes the value of what he does. He
says, “When I began this routine I delivered food for 200-300 people
daily. Then the Government started rehabilitation centre for the
beggars, and the number dwindled to 100. Delivering food to the maximum
number of people who are starving makes me happy,” Says this man who
finds joy in wiping away the hunger of his fellowman.
his school days, Raveendran has been sharing his food with the less
fortunate. And today he is strongly supported in his noble cause by his
wife and two daughters He is
In this journey, Suralayam
Raveendran has witnessed many touching incidents. He shares some of them
with us. “I saw a man picking food from the garbage thrown out by a
hotel. Such situations still exist in our society. I bought food for
Raveendran also narrates the incident
of the man he saw once, weeping in front of the Azad hotel. He was a
retired employee of AG’s office, abandoned by his wife and children and
seeking an old age home for shelter. After answering our questions he
resumes his work. At 2.30 he heads back to his school. If he runs out of
his stock of food and there are more mouths to feed, he has no qualms
about buying food for them. So used to feeding people is this man, that
he naturally asks us if we have had our food.
So the next time you are in the
vicinity of the Secretariat, look out for this kind soul amidst the
crowds, searching for hungry mouths to feed. You can identify him by his
white LML bike, white shoes and a smile on his face.
symbolises purity is the favorite colour of Suralayam Raveendran.
Nothing could be a better choice for this man whose purity of heart
shines through his noble actions.
Yentha is proud to salute this
By Renju R