Lord, make me a channel of your blessing to vulnerable & destitute children #Being BASIC
Even as we read this many patients/sick people are pouring in at Tabitha Home looking for Hope and support to regain a healthy life. His day begins with a prayer for the suffering people and ends in its fulfillment by serving them.
Mr. Thanshok Kamkra believes that – to serve humanity is serving GOD. His words are clearly being lived out in his selfless service and works he is rendering to people around him. Nestled in the beautiful capital city of Manipur state, Tabitha Home is a home that symbolizes hope, love, courage, long suffering, sacrificial service and kindness. It was established by Thanshok Kamkra and his wife Tammi in 2001.
Tabitha Home is a home/shelter exclusively for HIV infected orphans. It comes under the legal jurisdiction of NSCP- Networking Service for Community Participation. It is a charitable and non-profit making organization working for the welfare of the community since 1992.
Today, it’s a home to 13 HIV+ orphans and a support for many people who are infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. Besides giving them shelter, the children are provided health care, nutritional needs, education and most importantly loved and cared for. They have lost only one child to AIDS so far. With the care and support at Tabitha Home, the children are living healthy and hopeful lives. Many have excelled in their studies and scored good marks in their classes. It is evident at this home, that given the proper care and required support, people infected by HIV can and will live healthy and normal lives.
Just today, when I spoke to Mr. Thanshok and asked him to tell me one of his greatest achievement in the past few years, he joyfully told me and celebrates the fact that nowadays they are sending off many who come to them seeking health care and support back home healthier and hopeful, and not in coffins. Almost every month, Tabitha Home receive as many as 10 to 20 people who are either infected or affected by HIV and AIDS from various parts of the state, especially from remote villages. Their timely intervention and support has helped in saving many lives and giving hope to many destitute suffering people.
Through the health camps they organise every year many people – both infected and affected has come to know of their services and what they do. When those who attend the camp go back to their respective villages, they spread the news/info about the home and the Samaritan couple to those in need or are suffering.
Thanshok and his wife never fail to welcome any who come to their home seeking for health care and support. Depending on their conditions, various steps are taken to help them. One of such is HIV Testing besides giving them counseling first. Free medicine supply is often given to those who cannot afford to buy it and during their stay at Tabitha Home; they are provided free food, stay and transportation. Most of them who come for support are HIV+ widows. And from time to time HIV+ widows are also given support in terms of food supply (rice) and even free clothes (especially in winter, warm clothes like sweaters, shawls, blankets, etc).
The real and commendable success of the couple lies in the fact that though they receive no fund from the government, they have managed to be a living example of hard work and selfless service to humanity. Currently they generate income through flower plantation and sales, piggery, catering services and social works like working in construction site or even cleaning and polishing shoes at people’s houses.
What they do besides running the Home:
- Active advocacy among the masses
- Create access and linkage for HIV and AIDS infected people to various health facilities
- Awareness and counseling
- Help and assist HIV+ widows to attain sustainable economic means of livelihood
- Strong networking and referral services
- Organise Health Camps inviting infected and affected people
Brief history of NSCP and Tabitha Home:
Challenged by the alarming rate of drug abuse cases and issues in Manipur, NSCP was formed in 1992. It aims to address social challenges and problems mainly addiction among the youth. It provides counseling as well as referral services to help drug addicts, alcoholics etc. Many drug addicts have been counseled and encouraged to take HIV/AIDS test.
NSCP conducted many awareness programs and workshops especially in schools. It succeeded in creating awareness and making various schools in Imphal tobacco free and also carried out various sensitisation programs in remote areas/villages in the state. In 2001, responding to the burning issue of HIV and AIDS menace in the state, NSCP started addressing the problems faced by HIV+ widows and orphans. To provide care and support to destitute and poor HIV+ orphans, Tabitha Home was established.
Growing up in a poor and struggling family, Thanshok himself faced many hardships early in live. He praises his parents for their support and understanding that had encouraged him always to pursue what is right and good for humanity. During his youth, he was part of many social organisations (student unions) and for almost 15 years he gained many experiences in many remote villages where there were no doctors, nurses, hospitals or schools; grass root sufferings as he would term it.
Today, he and his wife with their two children consider it a great blessing to run Tabitha Home and be a channel of hope to many suffering people in the state of Manipur, where decades of conflicts have handicapped social developments and is one of the six high prevalence states in India with 2578 HIV positive children and the number growing at an alarming rate. Nearly 8% (38,016 cases) of India’s total HIV positive cases are in the state.
His prayer has always been to serve humanity and be the change he wants to see in others… in his own lines clearly spelled out in the following -
Make me an eye to the blind.
Make me a voice to the dumb.
Make me an ear to the deaf.
Make me a leg and a hand for the handicapped.
Make me a channel of your hope for the hopeless.
Make me to proclaim your gospel of peace, where there is hatred and wars.
Make me an Ambassador for the under-privileged people.
Make my heart generous and rich that always reaches out to the poor and the needy.
Make me remain on my knees, praying with tears for the sin-sick world.
Make me please my Maker, for I have only a generation to serve You and your people.