Mithrakulam – a town for lonely people
Express press service
KOCHI: Love and attention are becoming scarce commodities in this world. The situation is such that people find themselves alone even surrounded by family or friends. Many find themselves helpless, not knowing what to do, where to go, who to contact.
“The municipalities play an important role here,” explains Anil Jose, managing director of Mithrakulam. “In today’s world, everyone is isolated. Previously, there were mixed families, then came the concept of the nuclear family. But today we can safely say it’s you more your motive for the business,” he said.
“However, whether it is the commune family, the nuclear family or yourself, no one is happy. Realizing this, I decided to study a system called commune. After learning how various communes work through the world, I decided to create one called Mithrakulam,” Anil explains. Mithrakulam respects the personal space of the individuals in it, he adds.
“I’ve been following the concept for five years. The doors of my house were open to anyone who sought to escape the constraints of society,” he says. However, as the days passed, the number of people increased and he had to look for new accommodation.
“People who have had to go through all sorts of problems in their lives have sought refuge in Mithrakulam. Among them are the elderly, women who have escaped abusive marriages, people with mental health issues and those who have experienced gender discrimination,” he explains.
According to Dr. Rajany T, Secretary General of Mithrakulam, the commune has enough facilities for those who live there. “It is housed in a building on Pipeline Road in Thammanam. The building was once a boys’ hostel before the pandemic. The Mithrakulam Charitable Trust acquired the 17-bedroom building and now houses around 22 people,” she says.
The building has three guest rooms reserved for those who need accommodation for a short stay. “People who come here take care of each other. There is advice for those who need it,” says Rajany. According to Anil, the commune also has an honest shop supplying all necessary items to inmates.
“There is a community kitchen, a millet kitchen, a clothing bank and a toy bank. The concept encourages sharing,” explains Anil. Here, accommodation is also offered at an affordable price. “Those who stay here don’t have to do household chores. We also provide training if someone wants to start a business,” says Anil. The same goes for those who want to find a job.
“For single working mothers, we provide space and multiple caregivers. We also help those who cannot take care of their elderly parents,” says Rajany. According to Anil, there are no restrictions on the practice of religion and the expression of gender identities. “However, we do not encourage religious preaching and political activities,” he said. According to him, Abraham Lawrence, son of CPM Chief MM Lawrence is being held in Mithrakulam.