"Newsmakers from Hyderabad"
"The Messiah of the
-Mr. Issac Thomas
life of Very Rev. K.I.Philip Ramban is a saga of bringing hope
and relief to the downtrodden and the distressed.
70 years old Ramban (A title given to selected senior members of
the priestly order of the Orthodox Church of India- the oldest
Christian Church based in Kerala) belongs to St.Paul's
Brotherhood, which is active in humanitarian work under the
guidance of H.G.Geevarghese Mar Osthathios Metropolitan.
Born in a middle class agricultural family in a small village in
central Kerala, Rambachen, as he is affectionately called, was,
from childhood attracted to helping the lowly and the
completing his schooling he joined the Mission Training Centre
of the Orthodox Church and later on moved to Puthuppady in
Kerala to assist in establishing the St.Paul's Ashram and
balabhavan there. In 1958 he joined the Orthodox Seminary in
Kottayam. After completing his training there and after being
ordained as a priest in 1962 he worked for several years in
several parts of the country.
The major turning point in his life was his being assigned as
the project officer for the relief work in Andhra Pradesh in the
aftermath of the killer cyclone in 1977. He was instrumental in
rebuilding 2 villages with the funds provided by the Orthodox
Church. The irony of this assignment was that by accepting this
assignment he spurned a scholarship for higher studies in Egypt,
which would have helped him in going up in the church hierarchy.
But then church got a torchbearer for its work among the
distressed and the downtrodden outside Kerala.
With the money left over from the cyclone relief work the church
allowed him to start his pet project for children of the lower
strata of the society. Thus came the now famous Balagram at
Yacharam near Hyderabad for healthy children of leprosy
patients. Started off in 1985 with 5 children Balagram is now a
home for over 100 children in the age group 3 to 15 years. Most
of the children who left Balagram are gainfully employed or are
pursuing college education funded by Balagram. The children are
admitted irrespective of caste, creed or religion and are
provided food, shelter and education free of cost. Other
institutions followed, with the opening of Balikagram in Pune in
1993 (for daughters of leprosy patients), Balagram in Itarsi in
1995 (for Sons of leprosy patients) and Kalahandi Development
Project in 1995 (for the development of Kalahandi District of
Orissa). The unique aspect of all these projects is that they
are all funded mainly by donations from individuals.
For his work among the downtrodden, he was awarded the
Catholicate Award by the Orthodox Church.
The super cyclone of 1998 brought Rambachen to Bhubaneswar. With no
knowledge of the local language but with his characteristic way of
motivating people he accomplished the task of building over 200
concrete houses for the cyclone affected within a short span of around
13 months. In appreciation of the work done under his leadership, the
Orthodox Church was awarded a memento on the last Republic Day by the
Orissa State Government, one of the three institutions thus rewarded
by the Government.
The earhquake in
Gujarat in 2000 brought him to Gujarat. He took upon himself the work
of rebuilding one of the villages in the Bhuj area on behalf of the
Orthodox Church. The work was completed in a record time as well.
in 2001 a modern eye hospital at Yacharam in partnership with
L.V.Prasad Eye Institute to provide modern eye care at affordable cost
to the villagers around. Till date the hospital has conducted over 800
free cataract surgeries.
He was actively involved in establishing the home for children of HIV
afflicted at Tumkur, again one of the firsts for the Orthodox Church.
His plans for the
future include a home for the aged and a terminal care center.
great motivator and a believer in the good nature of the humans and
who sets an example by his punishing speed of work, you will find him
bringing peace and solace where there is misery and sorrow. A mild
stroke, which he suffered recently, has not diminished his zeal in any
Orthodox Churches of the Twin Cities have recently felicitated him by
conducting a thanksgiving prayer meeting at St.Gregorios Orthodox
Cathedral, Hyderabad on 16th November 2003. During this
occasion 70 sewing machines donated by well-wishers were given to
Reachout's News Bureau
site is conceived, designed, and maintained by Reach-out
All rights reserved
world wide. Copyright © 1999- 2003. Mail your queries to
Disclaimer: Neither Reachout Business Network,
nor the sources it obtained the information from, are responsible for the
correctness/validity of the information in these pages. It is a collection of
both facts and opinions. You are advised to verify all information with a
reliable source before acting on it. This disclaimer applies to all pages of