By: Sr Dorothy Adaha FSP
“There is no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up,” said, the famous author.This is exactly what these nuns have been doing over the last few years. Lifting them from nothing and giving them human dignity. For These ‘Mother Teresa’s Roses’ a bunch of nuns feeding poor people on daily basis from the congested ‘Rose Room’ opposite to Bhabha Hospital, Bandra, Mumbai is an undying commitment to charity.
A stream of handicaps, down trodden, orphans and people abandoned by their family and society stand in long queues to get their daily meal from these benevolent nuns who in spite of odd circumstances provide basic needs for these deserving destitute.
In our society where these poor people cannot afford a meal, clothing and medicine, these nuns show that someone cares for them.
Feeding 100 people and more at different locations in the Mumbai city is a huge project, but the number does not matter to them because their main objective is that people should not go hungry. Wounds are dressed and a bath is given to those unable to help themselves. This is their daily chores but never exhausted, they continue with renewed vigor every morning.
This mission is also known as the Sr Christobel’s Trust, named after its founder Late Sr Christobel. She started her works of charity as a Missionary of Charity in Kolkata, but later moved to Mumbai where she started this movement in the mid 1990s.
One incident that drove her to humanitarian action more than ever was, a day when she noticed a movement in the heap of garbage at the turn of Juhu. The strange movement was a man besieged in agony.
People who come here on regular basis have found a newhome. When their begging and earnings are not sufficient to feed themselves, these committed nuns give food without any expectation in return.
Legori D Souza, a beneficiary, says, “Sisters are doing great service for us, they sacrifice all for us.”
Another person who does not want to disclose his name said, “Unwanted by my own family because I became ill and so I was burden to them, but the Sisters have accepted me. I have been given not only food but medicines and clothes as well.” Unable to support himself being crippled by polio, he has been coming daily, even if he has to walk because here he is taken care of.
Many remain grateful, yet a few others consider it as their right to receive and tend to be disrespectful. But, none of this, matters to the Sisters.
What makes this noble ministry sustainable is the contribution of many people, who generously donated the movement in cash and kind. Zalima Fernandes, a prominent donor, says,“I would walk pass the Roses’ room and watch the Sisters feeding beggars, dressing their wounds with sterilize gauge, providing clean clothes and see the transformation in these dejected human beings and so I offered to help. But I took an easy way out by just being a donor. The Sisters do the real hard work with love and care.”
“We assist them financially because they work devoutly towards the upliftment of the marginalised and the downtrodden in our society.” Said Maria Lira Dias.
When demonetisation created chaos in the country, with every one rushing to banks, either to retain their money value or to deposit their cash, the Sisters remained still and calm, ‘God provides,’ says Sr Sobha. She was busy planning for the next day’s distribution, when a donor walked in to make his contribution. The amount is just sufficient for the next meal. They have not become poorer by giving; instead they have become richer by giving.