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Kerala mechanic doubles up as fish farmer, waste collector to fund palliative care unit

Kunjammu with the fish from his farm at Edathanattukara in Palakkad, Kerala. Photo: Special Arrangement.

He is just a two-wheeler mechanic who had studied only up to tenth standard. But this 42-year-old from Palakkad, Kerala is scripting a new narrative of humanity by doubling up as a fish farmer and plastic waste collector to fund a local palliative care unit which takes care of bed-ridden and terminally ill patients.

Unlike others, who use earnings from an additional job or business for personal needs, Parokkot Kunjammu of Edathanattukara in Palakkad donates a large amount of money which he makes from the fish farm to fund the activities of the Edathanattukara Palliative Care Unit which treats over 3000 patients in his locality. He recently handed over Rs 1.72 lakh, which he earned from the fish farm, to the unit.

Kunjammu, who runs the two-wheeler workshop, got familiarized with the activities of the unit when he voluntarily worked as a part-time driver for the unit for a few months. He was moved by the plight of the patients and the work put in by the staff of the unit ensuring care for the patients.

He decided to do fish farming in a quarry at his locality, realizing its potential to be a revenue source to fund the activities of the unit.

“I knew that my two-wheeler workshop would not be able to raise the required funds for the unit. So I turned the quarry into a fish farm after considering ways to support the unit. I’m happy that the plan worked, and I could do something within my limits to support the unit,” Kunjammu told “Open Digest“.

Apart from fish farming, Kunjammu has been collecting plastic bottles from wedding venues and other social gatherings for the last one year to hand them over to recycling units and make money for the palliative care unit.

“While being a driver and visiting the homes of the patients, I witnessed the sufferings of the patients and how their families were struggling with limited resources. I am doing a little bit of help which I can,” he said.

Kunjammu said the real heroes are the palliative care workers. “Even in well-off families, the elderly are left unattended by their children. It’s the palliative care workers who daily visit these homes and even change the diapers,” he said, adding that he was committed to his mission and would continue with fish farming to raise money for the unit.

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