Narayanan Krishnan

by Juliette from San Diego

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In the world today, there are more than 100 million homeless people, most of them being women and younger children (Homeless Statistics). Who would have guessed that a regular man named Narayanan Krishnan would give up his career to help the life of the homeless? Born in a Brahmin family as an orthodox, he had a blessed life, however that didn't keep him narrow-minded to those in need around him;  

Hero is a very strong word, but it fits 34-year-old Narayanan Krishnan perfectly. During the last 12 years, he has served over 1.5 million meals to India's homeless, mostly people abandoned by their families, either suffering from mental conditions or too old to care for themselves. In 2010, Narayanan Krishnan made the CNN Heroes 2010 list, a distinction that made his story known to the whole world, and helped raise awareness to India's homeless problem. (Narayanan)

No matter what people think or say about Krishnan's work, his courage is what has made him determined enough to never stop since he started. He hasn't stopped serving the homeless since 2002. His devotion to those in need proves that his kindness comes from the heart. Along with his courage to keep people full, nothing has stopped Narayanan Krishnan from helping his hometown, Mandurai.

Krishnan isn't just courageous for all he does, what he does is done because he is kind. Krishnan doesn't care what he gets in return for his work, all he cares about is that the people have something to eat everyday. "The other heroes included India's Narayanan Krishnan --the chef from Madurai who has fed 1.2 million hot meals to homeless and destitute." (Parashar, Utpal). He was so in touch with his kind side that he couldn't leave these helpless people. Thanks to him now, they aren't as helpless. They now have one less thing to worry about: food. Krishnan's sadness when seeing the world in such a famine is what led him to wanting to help the people in dire need of it.

'The panic, suffering of the human hunger is the driving force of me and my team members of Akshaya,' Narayanan says. 'I get this energy from the people. The food which I cook . the enjoyment which they get is the energy. I see the soul. I want to save my people.' Apart from food, he also carries a comb, scissors and razor, and is trained in eight different haircut styles to give his clients that extra bit of dignity they so desperately need. (Narayanan Krishnan) 

Krishnan is kind because he sees these people hopelessly suffering and he knows that he can do something about it and chooses to act on that instinct.

Krishnan's day begins at 4 A.M., every morning, as he and his team cover 125 miles in a donated van, scouring every nook and cranny of Madurai in search of homeless people in need of a hot meal. [He] hand-feeds himself. over 400 "clients" per day. He is frequently forced to work in temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. (Narayanan Krishnan).

Not only is his day physically hard, it is mentally hard as well; having to deal with people acting paranoid to kindness must not be easy. But these difficult conditions seem to only strengthen his yearning to help them. That's what makes a true hero, someone who will help others. No matter what they get in return, they're still happy about what they did. Krishnan's affection towards the homeless in Mandurai is what has been keeping them alive alive for another 14 years.

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Narayanan Krishnan is courageous for his efforts to help the helpless. Wanting to help the homeless was gravely looked down upon in his community, however, he knew it was the right thing to do and never doubted himself:

Being from a Brahmin community and an orthodox family, there are a lot of objectives. Brahmins are not supposed to touch these people, clean these people, hug these people, feed these people. Everybody has got 5.5 liters of blood. I am just a human being. For me everybody the same. There are thousands and thousands of people suffering. What is the ultimate purpose of life? It's to give. Start giving. See the joy of giving. (Hestie Barnard Gerber)

Krishnan believes, no matter what his religion states, that all humans are the same and deserve the same treatment. Not everybody is as fortunate as other people, and those who are lucky enough to have a roof over their heads and food on the table every night, should be willing to help the others in need. Helping those in need is something that Krishnan believes is what life is all about. Life is short and shouldn't be wasted complaining about what you have and don't have, it should be focused on sharing with others what you are fortunate enough to have. For him, it was the ability to prepare them food. It didn't matter what problems he faced; to him they were just a bump in the road; nothing that couldn't be handled. "'Did you face any problems along the way?'...'Oh yes! Initially these people were hostile and paranoid, but now they do appreciate our help and look forward to the meal times.'" (Usha Bhende). The fact that he has faced hostility from the people he was trying to help yet never stopped what he set out his mind to, shows how courageous he is. Krishnan understands that these people would be scared because he cares, he doesn't only give them food, he gives them a reason to keep waking up everyday by showing them he understands and cares about what they have to go through. He has devoted his life to feed them and no matter what the circumstances were, he never stopped, not even for a single day. Krishnan is brave for never stopping his work and no matter what anybody says, never not thinking of the homeless as human beings.

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Through Krishnan's courage and kindness people been able to get fresh hot meals in Mandurai everyday since 2002. He is a strong man for never stopping to cook for the people in need. He is affectionate for not getting anything in return no matter how tiring the work might be; his pleasure is being able to see the homeless smile. "Food is one part. Love is another part. So, the food will give them physical nutrition. The love and affection which you show, will give them mental nutrition." (Hestie Barnard Gerber) Krishnan was just a regular human when he first saw the famine happening in his hometown. However, what made him special is that he chose to act on it; he chose to change it, and he decided to help the homeless. A hero is not just someone who helps  someone else, it is an everyday person just like you or I who answers the calling that we receive, to me that someone is Narayanan Krishnan.

Works Cited

"CNN Hero: An Interview with Narayanan Krishnan." Dutiee. N.p., 29 Oct. 2010. Web. 06 May 2015.

"10 Modern-Day Heroes Actively Changing The World - Listverse."Listverse. N.p., 30 May 2013. Web. 04 May 2015.

"Narayanan Krishnan - The Selfless Hero Helping India's Helpless | Oddity Central - Collecting Oddities." Oddity Central Collecting Oddities. N.p., 04 Feb. 2014. Web. 06 May 2015.

Parashar, Utpal. "BRIEF: The other Koirala does Nepal proud." Hindustan Times 06 Dec. 2010: Newspaper Source. Web. 7 May 2015.

"Homeless Statistics." Shelter 20. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2015.

"'Hero of the Year' - Narayanan Krishnan." Think Link. N.p., 03 Jan. 2011. Web. 19 May 2015.

"He Feeds the Hungry, Now Wants to House the Homeless. But..." Rediff. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.

"Narayanan Krishnan: Chef Dedicates His Life to Help the Homeless in India." The Huffington Post UK. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.

Berger, Danielle. CNN. Cable News Network, 02 Apr. 2010. Web. 20 May 2015.

Page created on 5/31/2015 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/31/2015 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Rediff News - Narayanan Krishnan'' work
The Huffington Post - Naryanan Krishnan"s effect on others
CNN - CNN talks about Narayanan Krishnan