The Optimist Citizen

Once a street kid himself, this man has saved more than 9000 street children till date

Story of S.Murugan who has saved more than 9000 children till date with just sheer Will and an Auto Rickshaw

While receiving the award from the then President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan tears rolled down his eyes. The Five Star Hotel where he rested in a double cot transverse to a time when he longed for the crumbs in a shed at the Oven Bakery near Sea Lord Hotel at Ernakulam . Eyes welled as he, determined, rededicated his life. “I will live for others, work for others and pray for the well-being of others… “, he said. The story of Murugan who has saved more than 9000 lives. A man who is a record holder in the Limca book of World Records, a Social Worker and the founder of “THERUVORAM”.

S.Murugan, now 32 years of age, was born in Kerala to a mother who worked as a plantation labourer at a Tea Estate in Peerumedu. During his formative years, Murugan often had no food in his belly and clothes on his back due to a drunkard father and the meagre income of his mother. Even when after a few years his father took the family to Port Kochi to find a new beginning, poverty never really left their stable. Murugan lived along with a family there whose son taught him to beg alms. He used to collect discarded and often soiled vegetables to satisfy his hunger and used to kill rats for shop owners to earn 10 paisa on each rat. The cruelty of life was a gross understatement compared to what went along in Murugan’s life. But he never lost hope. While his friends turned gangsters, thieves and murderers, often landing in Jail, he moved to an orphanage at Pulluthurthy. There he worked as a mason and also sold newspapers to earn Rs.75-100. Here he also started to work with Childline as a volunteer.


This stint in the social sector moulded Murugan’s life long hardships and its woeful experiences into something unperceivable. He was saddened by the pitiable states of children and elderly living on the streets who were somehow holding on to dear life. Working hard, Murugan gradually saved enough to purchase an Auto rickshaw and decided to become a Social worker so that he can change the lives of those who are deprived as once he was. But saving lives was not easy. Once in a market area, a group of people brought a little lad for begging pouring something into his eyes that made blind. He sped in his Auto to rescue him. On the way back, the leaders of the same gang tried to beat him and destroyed his auto in the process. But Murugan never retorted with anger and violence. Even after judicial focus, he tried to win the violence through love. It is with a selfless motive like this that Murugan started Theruvorum in 2007.


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Initially facing some hiccups, he started to help children on the streets along with his wife and accommodating 20 deprived souls. Theruvoram is now actively working in 17 districts of Kerala to save the lives of homeless, injured and destitute street children. The NGO’s first state partnership in India was with the Kerela government and was inaugurated by Shri Oommen Chandy, the Chief Minister of Kerala in 2013. Theruvorum has rescued, rehabilated and helped more than 9000 children till date. Over the phone Murugan said “The only vision I have is a society where people live for others. This world is not my home, I am just passing through. I won’t take anything with me, so why not help others rather than asking for material things. Awards and recognitions do not matter, what you do for others does. I try my level best with what I can; I am just an auto driver who once lived on the streets”. Before I could sink in the depth of his thoughts, I could hear him say- “Sir, can you hear me? I have got an urgent call. Someone needs me.” I wished him my regards and sat speechless for minutes.

Somewhere in Ernakulum, the life-saver was back to work.


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