When Mary’s parents gave her that name, they clearly would not have thought about what kind of person she would become. But she did turn out to be an epitome of benevolence. The incident that changed Mary’s life and made her devote time for charity occurred in 1998. One day, on her way back from church Mary met a man who was mentally ill. He was begging for food in front of a restaurant. The restaurant owners refused to give him any food, which led to a huge conflict over there. As a political worker, Mary intervened and took him away from the scene.
After giving him some food, Mary left him there and started walking. However, after taking a few steps, she realised that she didn’t want to leave his hands. She decided that it was time to offer a helping hand to those in need.
And thus was born Bethlehem Abhayabhavan, a charitable society situated at Koovappady in Ernakulam district.
Even though her family opposed Mary taking the responsibility of a mentally ill person at first, she managed to convince them. And now, her family gives her all support to run the society. Her children, who are settled abroad, were also part of setting it up.
Bethlehem Abhayabhavan has changed the lives many distressed people, especially mentally ill and geriatric persons.
Even though it had a small beginning, there are now around 450 people who have found a shelter in Abhayabhavan. The Kerala police help them in all ways that they can. Thirty-three people who are working in other fields have offered their service to Abhayabhavan. Besides the government’s assistance, they get donations from several kind-hearted people.
Mary has received lots of awards and has also been honoured by various organisations for her great endeavour....