Today (Dec-21, 2014) is a very special day for me and my family. Yes, we dedicated our home in Arni, Tiruvannamalai Dt, Tamilnadu to serve the community. It is the home where I was born and bought up. Our family lived there for more than 30+ years.
My mom passed away in Sep-2011 because of cancer (You can read the Lessons I learnt from her here. I named the blog post as ‘Mom is God’). She worked as a Govt school teacher and retired as a Govt school headmistress. When she passed away, my dad, my elder brother and I decided to use the home where we lived for the community. Due to various challenges, we were not able to do it immediately.
Unfortunately, my dad also passed away in May-2013 because of cardiac arrest (You can read the Lessons I learnt from him here. I named the blog post as ‘Dad is God too’). It came as a shock to us because, no one expected it. He was not even sick. He watched an IPL match a day before and went to sleep who never woke up again. My dad ran a video cassette rental shop when he was young, then started taking videos and photos for marriages and in his late fifties, he ran a small xerox shop for our living.
Just to keep you aware, that both my mom and dad donated their body to Theni Medical College after their demise. We didn’t burn or bury it. We donated the body to create awareness about ‘Body Donation’.
Few months before my mom passed away in 2011, when she was bed ridden, she told me that I was settled in life and requested me to take care of my elder brother as he was switching jobs because of his family condition. Moreover, once my brother completed Plus-2, my parents made him join a local computer course and he did his BCA through correspondence. He was working in Bangalore in a computer hardware form as System admin which he decided to quit to take care of his little son who was battling few health issues at that time. My Sister in law decided to continue her job as a lecturer in a nursing college. They were switching places often to ensure that their son got required medical attention. I believe, this made my mom to tell to take care of my elder brother.
When my dad passed away, my mom words just echoed me. I was thinking what to do for my brother’s family. We had our own home and a shop in our native, Arni which belonged to both of us after our dad’s demise. I decided to give both the home and the shop completely to my brother so that he can use it to earn some money. I shared my thought to my wife Vidya and she immediately agreed to it. I’m glad that I had a wife who supports me in my every act of life.
I shared my idea with my brother and in a matter of months, I transferred the complete property in his name. I still remember the day when I signed the documents for property transfer. After signing the documents, I just looked at the sky and told my mom, ‘This is the least I can do for my brother. Hope you and father were happy looking at us.’
I told my brother that he should give the home for lease to Team Everest for atleast 20 years to start with so that we can use it for community service (Hope we will be able to use this home for community service for ever!). He immediately agreed to it and we started the renovation work for it.
Apart from putting our personal savings, it was not sufficient to reach the total amount required. So, I reached out to my friends on FB and our Everest volunteers. Thanks to all the volunteers who contributed for this cause. The home is all set to serve the community now!
Today, Dec-21, 2014, we inaugurated the home by inviting the friends of my mom and dad, Everest Volunteers from Chennai, Volunteers who donated for this cause and our relatives.
Volunteers from Chennai arriving at home
Friends of my mom and dad, Volunteers, relatives and Students during the function
My Dad's friends siting at the front row
We named the center as ‘Mom Dad Community Center’ (In Tamil, we named it as ‘Appa Amma Ninaivagam’).
We have named it as ‘Mom Dad Community Center’ as the intention behind this home is to make every individual think about their parents and their contribution in their lives. Every child, every person who steps inside this home should understand the key role their parents played in their lives and give them due respect. Apart from playing a role of an educational hub, this home should stand as an inspiration to many and help them love their parents much more.
It was an emotional day as many of them took their time to share their sweet memories with their mom and dad.
I’m introducing why we started this mom dad Community center and I’m sharing the lessons I learnt from my mom and dad. (Explanation of the quote behind me – The God which we should pray first is ‘Mom and Dad’.
My friend and our Everest core team Volunteer Malathi sharing her experience with my mom. She was there with my mom when my mom breathed last.
My friend and Everest core team volunteer Praveen sharing his mom’s story. He lost his dad when he is just 4 years old and he shared his mom’s brave story of how she worked to take care of the 3 kids in his family.
One of our volunteer’s father also came to the front to share his mom and dad story.
My Aunt (Dad’s sister) shared how my mom and dad played a crucial role in her life. She is working as a School Headmistress now for a free Govt aided School in Arni.
Our entire family came to open the ‘Stone Inscription’ which we kept in front of our home.
Friends and volunteers who joined this ceremony
People from our street joined along with our volunteers for the opening ceremony
Dedicating the home to the Community
Our family who supported us to go ahead with this idea
Special thanks to my Elder brother who supports me always
Translation of the Stone Inscription:
Mom Dad Memorial:
This is the home of Ln.Rcr.K Chandramohan and K.Lakshmi.
Both of them donated their body after their demise.
Now, they are donating their home also for the community.
This home is an example for Humanity!
This home is a way of giving respect to all the selfless souls!
This home is a temple and will motivate all those who want to serve others.!
Come, Let’s Serve!
We decided to do the inauguration with the oldest person in the street. We called the oldest Grandma from our street to do the inauguration by cutting the ribbon. She was our chief guest!
Her first reaction after cutting the ribbon!
We took her to show the computer room. It was our old bed room+Pooja Room.
The home now has a free computer center, yoga center and a study center for children in the community. It will benefit atleast 500 kids in the community every year. We have appointed staffs and volunteers to take care of the center. The running cost of the center will be supported by our Team Everest Volunteers. I told the kids who are attending the center that though the courses are free for them, it is not free for us. We are raising donation to help them study and requested them to help others when they grow up. I hope it will put a seed of giving in their young minds, which can do magic in future. I believe that we have now made a wise investment to make a better and kinder future for all of us!
The Computer Hall!
Just to keep you posted, we are also planning to roll out more initiatives centered around ‘Parents and their Love’ through this community center so that we can see much lesser old age homes in future.
Wall Hangings to remember our parents
I’m sure that everyone agrees to this quote!
Thanks to my friend Javeed who volunteered to design these beautiful posters. We always lacked creative designers who can help design creative posters and banners. If you are the one who is reading this post and knows photoshop, Illustrator and works as a professional designer, do let me know. We can take your help for our future initiatives! Please register here if you are a designer.
We are also planning to create a website for Mom Dad Community Center. If you are a website developer and have developed websites in the past and ready to help us, please register here. We will write to you soon once our plan is ready!
My dad had put a LIC policy in the name of my brother and me before his death. We got Rs 30,000 each (Rs 60,000 in total) as maturity amount. We decided to use it for this community center and used the amount to do plumbing work and to paint the home with pictures, quotes of mom and dad to inspire people who come to this home. We are happy that the money he saved for us is put to use for a good cause. We just thought, he just donated even after his death!
A picture to show the love of Mom!
A picture to show the care of Dad!
Few Inspiring Quotes about Mom and Dad!
Translation of the quote in above picture (For Mother):
There is no life which doesn't call 'Amma' (Mother)
There is no growth without giving respect to your Mother
The God who speaks in front of us
is none other than 'Mother'.
I didn't get the luck of having you inside my stomach.
That's why I hold you in in my heart for ever!
(Please forgive me if the translation is Pathetic :))
This is how our upstairs looks like now. We will be using this place as a Study center for students.
My mom and Dad picture while climbing the steps!
Before leaving, all the volunteers took a picture in front of the paintings
A young mom and dad taking a picture along with their kid!
Though, we named it as ‘Mom Dad Community Center’, for me personally, it is a ‘Mom Dad Temple’. It's a place filled with love, peace and happiness.
I wanted to end this blog post, by requesting you all to take a little time in our busy schedule to show our love and affection towards our parents. Let’s ask them what they want. Let’s ask them where they want to go. Let’s have a walk with them.
My mom wanted to fly in flight atleast once which I’m not able to fulfill. When the opportunity came, she was so sick to fly. My dad just passed away in sleep and didn’t get an opportunity to see my marriage which he awaited for long.
This life is very short. Don’t postpone your love. Don’t postpone your affection. Be with them. Be for them.
Finally, I invite you all for our ‘Mom Dad Community Center’ along with your family (Especially your mom, dad or your kids). You can even celebrate your mom, dad birthdays and anniversaries in our center.
Make a visit there once. It’s just 150 Kms from Chennai. Let’s celebrate our parents!
1) If you are interested in volunteering and ready to teach kids, sign up as a volunteer in www.teameverest.ngo/volunteer
2) If you wish to sponsor and educate a kid, check www.teameverest.ngo/donate
3) If you wish to get in touch with me, whatsapp me at +91 89399 12365.