Hyderabad: Rev. K.I. Philip Ramban, 86, passed away on September 7 at Puthupady in Kozhikode district of Kerala. He was the founder director of St Gregorios Balagram at Yacharam, and has served as director of several institutions of the Orthodox Church at Itarsi, Orissa, Uttarkashi, Kayamkulam, and Pune. The Orthodox church leader was endowed with the title of Ramban (monk).
Rev Philip Ramban who devoted his entire life for the uplift of the poor, had a deep connection with united AP. He entered the state to take up cyclone relief work in the 1970s and 1980s. From then on, AP was an important place from where his social activities for the uplift of the poor started.
During the relief work he was struck by the helpless situation of children, especially children of leprosy patients. In 1985, determined to do something about it, a young Rev Fr Philip, set out to work at Yacharam, a hamlet about 50 km from Hyderabad.
He told the leprosy affected parents about his plan and they agreed to let the children have a better life. Thus was born the Yacharam Balabhavan and today, children from the Balagram have become engineers, and a few are studying abroad.
A recipient of several awards from the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Rev Philip Rambam was honoured by the Indian Orthodox Church with the title of ‘Malankara Missionary Jyothis’ for his work in transforming many lives.
The St Gregorios Public School offers them and others the best education in that area and there is no stigma attached. The hamlet itself transformed into a hub for livestock and agriculture and for the locals, Philip Ramban became their ‘Pappa’.
Soon, he extended his service to other parts of the country including the setting up a Balagram for children of AIDS patients Kunikal, Bangalore....