A HERO FOR THE HOMELESS
By Jamuna Rangschari
Donald Fernandez from Goa worked as a sales executive, and in his travels across Goa for promoting his products, he saw many homeless persons on the streets, at bus stops, and near churches and temples, wandering around with their dishevelled looks and shabby clothes. Hungry and thirsty, emaciated, and having health issues, both mental and physical, or under the influence of alcohol and maybe even drugs, they were being shooed away by passers-by and authorities. After witnessing this, his spiritual teachings inspired him to work for their betterment.
Donald opened a free shelter home for all who needed help. Initially, his friends, relatives, and neighbours thought he was crazy but later understood his pure intentions. His wife supported him too, for she realised that he was doing his best to help those who were abandoned by most and thus following a spiritual path. Today, he works hard to bring about change to enable the underprivileged to be included in people’s hearts.
Donald is also trying to bring a policy change in the government to save excess fresh food from canteens, hotels, and corporates, which is thrown away, to be channelised instead to the needy and, in the process, also minimise wet garbage for the environment.
Donald cherishes some special moments: A young boy who was brought to the shelter by the police was unable to identify himself.
Donald’s dream is to wipe out hunger and homelessness. They posted his picture on social media because of which his father got in touch, and the boy was reunited with the family. Another time was when they rescued a woman from the streets in 2018. She was uttering guttural sounds, didn’t know her name, how to eat from a plate, or how to have a bath or change into fresh clothes. Today, four years later, she knows how to colour and paint, loves to dance, has a bath daily, and cleans the shelter home to perfection. When he sees her now, he is so happy and feels great that he did not give up on her though there were many challenging moments with her.
Essentially, Donald’s dream is to see that hunger and homelessness in Goa are wiped out forever. He is certainly working in that direction. Knowing his perseverance, I am certain this will happen in Goa and perhaps all over India and then the world, as he could show the way forward to everyone.
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