Shocking allegation against an NGO named St. Joseph’s Hospice have emerged, which include beating sick inmates and using their dead bodies for harvesting bones. Some reports have also alleged that it is also involved in harvesting organs of its inmates and selling it to other countries.
The hospice, which calls itself a ‘Home for Dying Destitute’, was founded by Father R. V. Thomas in 2011. The same Christian pastor is also running similar hospices in Dindigul and Paleshwaram. A hospice is a Christian equivalent of an Ashram where sick and destitute are supposed to be taken care of.
An article about an unauthorised vault being used to cremate the dead had appeared in The Hindu newspaper on 3rd February. However, this article had not included details of treatment meted out to inmates and allegations of bone harvesting by locals.
Now a Tamil channel named Thanthi TV has come up with a ground report, which has brought to light the allegations of locals against the the NGO.
Salavakkam- Elders are brought from other places, beaten up & when they are dead do not bury them. They are taking the bones separately. Kids fear going to school.
-public of this village https://t.co/XKz3EfHLOP
— रंगा – ரங்கா (@ranganaathan) February 23, 2018
The Thanti TV reported quoted in the above tweet can be seen here:
— Thanthi TV (@ThanthiTV) February 21, 2018
Translation of Thanthi TV report is as below :
Chengalpattu district Salavakkam, In an orphanage/hospice here the locals allege that the inmates are not given a proper burial. and their bones are harvested by authorities of the hospice. Further, the polluted water from the hospice is leaking into the local lake and farming has been adversely affected because of that. The children who go near the lake are also disturbed by the smell of the water.
Respondent 1 : Sick and elderly from outside the village , from places like Madras are brought here, tortured and killed. They are not given a burial. Instead they are kept in the racks [of the vault] for 3 months and we don’t know what happens, but the bones are usually taken. We tell them to bury but they don’t do it. They have removed the bones, we saw. Because of the these dead bodies , the smell has increased and it is intolerable. The polluted water comes to our lake and it is affecting families. So please take step and do what has to be done.
Respondent 2 : Children of the village go to study. My daughter is also studying. But they are afraid to walk from here and go. From outside it looks like a hospice. But they take them all, torture . When it rains , water comes from there and mixes with the lake and families are affected. The village does not need this hospice.
Local authorities are inspecting the premises of the Christian hospice and tunnels of upto 30 feet depth have been discovered.
The alleged illegal activities of the NGO came to light when the villagers stopped a van that was carrying dead bodies of the hospice inmates. An old woman crying out from the van was rescued by them. The elderly rescued woman has been identified as Annamalai and the dead body has been identified as that of Vijayakumar. Another elderly man belonging to Dindigul named Selvaraj was also rescued from the van.
A beacon fitted van, belonging to a private home for elders, was found carrying a body with bags of vegetables along with two aged persons in Salaivakkam in Kancheepuram on Tuesday afternoon. https://t.co/W122roFkqapic.twitter.com/jbTn0e1w06
— DT Next (@dt_next) February 20, 2018
A Twitter user ‘FCRA analyst’ has brought out the details of the funding source of the NGO and hospice. As per other reports quoted by the user, the NGO is also accused of harvesting organs.
+Not surprisingly, Light for the Blind-India is a #FCRA-NGO, TN/75890338. Rcvd. 2.2 Crore in 2013-14, largely from a Light for the Blind-UKstan (FC returns after 2014 are not available due to IT glitch on FCRA website). Light for the Blind-UK (Charity No.:1085698) is run by + 4/n
— fcra_analyst (@by2kaafi) February 21, 2018
Investigations into activities of the hospice has been started only after the villagers protested against the NGO.
+Villagers allege that organs are being harvested. 70 y/o Annammal was shouting for help from inside the van. Along with her was Selvaraj (71) & the body of unknown person. Police investigate after more than 500 villagers protest. 6/nhttps://t.co/LyKIgLuwIs
— fcra_analyst (@by2kaafi) February 21, 2018
The document in the above tweet is :
Apart from lack of details in the The Hindu report, a report in the Deccan Chronicle regarding the rescue of elderly from the van also hid the religious nature of organisations involved. In fact, The Hindu had earlier published an article on Father Thomas and his Dindigul hospice titled ‘They come to this hospice to have a peaceful death.‘