New Delhi (AsiaNews) - "When I am with the dying abandoned by all, I care for them, I tell them of the love I feel for them, I feel happy." Brother Anand Ekka, Missionary of Charity (MC) since 1996, tells AsiaNews about the daily experience of caring for the poor abandoned by all. And how his vocation was born.
Brother Anand, 34, a native of Chattisgarh, has for the past 4 years lived at Karunai Illam (House of Mercy) in Chennai (Tamil Nadu). Here the poor are welcomed - he explains - "we find them at the bus station and railways and roads, lying waiting for death."
"They are the terminally ill – he continues - some in conditions of semi-consciousness, others not at all aware, left to die in the street. Many are elderly but there are some young people with mental illness, who are sent away from their homes when they became seriously ill. All are welcomed by us like Jesus. They are abandoned, homeless, no family, we give them a home and a hope. "
In Karunai Illam these poorest of the poor find full dignity to the point where the MC are helped in their work by many volunteers. Brother Anand says that "many people who also live nearby, are willingly to help people of all ages, there are many youth groups. They join in our work, spontaneously and with joy, help us to wash and keep our guests clean, feed them, do the laundry. Some have trouble doing this work, but most do it with dedication and compassion. Many are happy and they return to serve the sick, whenever they have time. "
Brother Anand also speaks of his vocation: "My father's sister, Sister Ishawerlata is a Missionary of Charity, now in Bangladesh, and when we went to visit her she shared with us the life and work of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Since a child I heard a strong appeal for the witness of Mother Teresa. As a young man I felt I wanted to serve [others] as Mother Teresa has served them in my life I feel so constant attraction to the life and works of Mother Teresa. So I entered the MC in Ranchi”.
"Unfortunately I never met Mother Teresa. When she died, for two days I was in St Thomas in Kolkata, where her body was laid. It was a time of great grace. In her presence, I felt filled with a great inner peace". "At Karuna Illam I feel the presence of Mother Teresa, who is with us, encourages us, smiles, helps us to serve others with love, her spirit is present every moment. The Mother loves us and every day during lunch in the refectory her words are read. She is like a mother for me, she is my guide, who encourages and motivates me. "