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Thanal House

Thanal House: A home for destitute women.
Many Indians live and sleep on the streets of Trivandrum or in the countryside nearby.
Often, they have severe psychiatric problems and are at risk, particularly the women. These individuals may have been deliberately abandoned by their families, or they may have simply wandered off and been unable to find their way home. About 30 of these vulnerable people are given refuge in Thanal House – Hope House, a fitting name for a place that brings hope and normality to many who had no hope and no hope of normal lives. HHI provided the land for Thanal House, and supports some of the running costs.

Covid has caused great problems for Thanal. The home was isolated in a vain attempt to stop Covid getting in, meaning that they could no longer receive gifts in kind (usually food). At the same time, their local supporters mainly found themselves out of work, and unable to help. Churches that had contributed in the past deployed their reduced resources elsewhere. Only HHI and Pilgrims Highlands Church (the church in Trivandrum that built the original building) were able to continue funding them. The government has done nothing to help.

Salini, who now oversees the work at Thanal House, sent us this account of one of their late residents named Kamala.
Kamala’s hometown was Maharashtra and she had a husband and 6 children. Kamala’s husband did not like her at all and one day when Kamala and her husband were traveling on the Kerala Express train, she fell asleep. On waking she realised she was alone – her husband had deliberately abandoned her.
Kamala wandered around the railway station and was eventually taken to the Trivandrum police. They took her to Thanal House knowing that Salini would welcome her.
Kamala lived at Thanal House for 4 years. She received medication for her mental illness and, when necessary, epilepsy. Since her last severe epileptic episode, she had been unable to get out of bed. As well as medication, she was given liquid food and protein powder. Wounds covered many parts of her body, and this was made worse by the fact that she would tear off her diaper and the sores on her body would be torn off too.
As her condition deteriorated she continued to be cared for by the Christian staff at Thanal House, even when they themselves were sick with Covid. Kamala died on 18 November this year 2021 and, in her final years, knew the boundless love freely given through Jesus Christ.

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