Karimnagar: Although technology changes the face of the world, there is no change in the attitude of people. A majority of the people blindly follow superstitions in one or the other form.
While a few upper caste people refuse to rent houses to lower caste people, a lot of the house owners do not allow bringing the bodies of tenants into the house. There are a number of incidents where dead bodies were directly taken to graveyards as the owner refused to allow bodies of tenants to be placed in front of their residences. Renters have also not been allowed to enter their home during the 12-day mourning period.
Similar kind of experience motivated a retired bank employee to establish Karmakanda Nilayam to extend support to helpless people. Patha Venkat Narsaiah, retired senior manager of Union Bank of India, established this facility on February 26, 2009. So far, about 200 families have availed the facility.
Sharing his experiences, Venkat Narsaiah said he had started thinking about an alternative system when his friend’s owner refused to allow the body of the latter’s father. In 2007, he decided to establish Karmakanda Nilayam since he did not get a house to stay when his father died.
The priests advised him to vacate his own house for six months citing bad omen. “It was a struggle to rent a house for six months. Even my own caste people refused to let me stay,” he said. He hired Arya Vysya Officials and Professionals Association (AVOPA) building near Susrutha Cancer Hospital and started Karmakanda Nilayam by forming a Trust in the memory of his parents Patha Vishwanatham and Rangamma.
Besides staying for 12 days without paying a single rupee, people can perform all rituals. Yarram Varalaxmi, who is also taking shelter in Nilayam thanked Venkat Narsaiah for doing such a great service for the poor and homeless. She along with her son stays in the Nilayam. She approached the organisers as the owner of her rented house refused to let her perform the 12 days mourning of her husband Shankaraiah.
Venkat Narsaiah runs the Nilayam on his own without taking any kind of help from others. People have come forward to give donations but he denied since he finds happiness when people thank him for his service.