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NGO Thanal celebrates Easter Sunday in a special way

Easter is all about celebrating the holy day with family and friends. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most important days for many Christians. The Thanal Paraplegia Patient Welfare Society in Kerala decided to mark the day in a special way too.

Thanal, an NGO that reaches out to wheelchair users, spent Easter Sunday at Snehaveedu, an old age home at Muvattupuzha. They interacted with the residents here, had lunch and exchanged stories. Wheelchair users from 15 districts across Kerala participated in this.

Among them was Manu, who drove down from Bengaluru for the day at Snehaveedu. The home, which is run by a local municipal councillor Bineesh, is struggling for funds. They have no government support and are staring at a financial crisis. They are surviving on donations.

Sarath Padipura, member of Thanal, heard this and decided to organize something special for Easter Sunday.

A few of our team members have visited the place before and at the time we met an elderly lady who was kept locked up as she could be violent. Her family had abandoned her as she was old. When we went there for the Easter celebrations, we were surprised to see her walking around, laughing and talking to us. That is the kind of transformation people undergo with love and support. All our members want to come back to 'Snehaveedu' for festivals and special occasions. It is an eye-opener to us as well. - Sarath Padipura, Member, Thanal Paraplegia Patient Welfare Society

Thanal has been trying to help 'Snehaveedu' in many ways. Some months ago, the NGO organized a music show to collect donations for the home. The show was a success and that is what prompted the members to come back to the NGO and reach out to inmates more often. The members have been sharing information about 'Snehaveedu' on social media and WhatsApp so that they can let more people know about the old age home and reach out to them.

"Every person who lives at 'Snehaveedu' has a unique and touching story", adds Unni Maxx, who is the Secretary of Thanal. "We spoke to them for hours and it was a great experience. We sponsored lunch for them and all of us sat together and had it. Apart from that, a few of our members distributed items to them as well. One of the inmates is going back to her home. When we bid her goodbye, her eyes were swelling with tears of happiness or sadness, we don't know. We are definitely going back to spend more time there."

Wheelchair users from 'Thanal' says that every time they visit 'Snehaveedu', there is something new for them to learn and witness. They have decided to spend all special occasions with inmates of this old age home, or at least, visit them occasionally to make them feel loved and wanted.

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