Through his initiative Karunai Ullangal Trust, D Arul Raj rescues and finds shelter for abandoned people
That’s when he understood the worth of humanity. He started getting involved in various social activities. Arul lost his job and was looking for other alternate options. Somebody suggested he take up either driving a car or autorickshaw so that he gets money to run his family. He opted to become an auto driver. With the intention to continue his social activities, Arul started an initiative called Karunai Ullangal Trust that rescues homeless people and provide them shelters.
“The 2015 floods changed my perspective of life. I never thought of involving in volunteering or helping people who are in need. But life teaches you certain lessons and show our purpose. Everything happens for a reason — today, I am able to rescue homeless people in and around Chennai city and put them in shelter homes,” Arul says.
A Chetpet resident, Arul rides autorickshaw for almost eight hours a day. During the rest of the time, he travels across the city searching for abandoned people. Earlier, the 34-year-old didn’t even know the concept of a shelter home. “Only while doing social activities, I understood that in Chennai we have various types of shelter homes depending on the need. I also learned a lot of things about social activism. During this journey, I met a lot of like-minded people who were willing to help the needy in society,” he tells DT Next.
It’s wasn’t an easy mission for Arul — he faced a lot of criticisms; many even questioned his motive behind social work. “Because I am an autorickshaw driver, people started questioning what I am doing. When they understand my work, they also join in the rescue. I also have a supportive group of volunteers. If someone spots an abandoned, they immediately share the details via WhatsApp and whoever is free reaches the location and helps the needy. So far, we have rescued 400 people from Chennai city and its suburbs,” he recalls.
To reach out to more people, he launched an app called Karunai Ullangal Trust. If anybody sees an abandoned person, they can upload pictures and the app automatically assigns volunteers for the rescue.