[Monday Motivation] Meet Jasper Paul, who has rehabilitated over 1,500 destitute in Hyderabad
Nineteen-year-old Jasper Paul — a Hyderabad-based student — was a motor enthusiast. However, his passion for speed failed him when he met with a tragic accident on a highway.
“I never thought I’d make it. But I managed to survive without a scratch, even though my car didn’t make it. I knew I didn’t just get another chance only to waste it again,” Jasper tells SocialStory.
The car did not survive the crash, but Jasper made it alive without a scratch, making him believe in the 'Second Chance'.
One day, while the then engineering student was passing by the Secunderabad Railway Station, he came across a 98-year-old woman, who was laying on the road — ill and injured — so much so that maggots were eating up her wound.
Seeing how none of the onlookers was helping her, Jasper took the elderly woman to the nearest government hospital. However, it did not treat her unless the maggots were removed.
That was the first time it dawned on him that there are hundreds of people out there struggling just like this woman. While he removed the maggots manually with an earbud from her arm, he also wanted to find her some help.
He shared a video of the woman on social media, and in no time, many people connected with him, and he was able to put her in an old age home. In fact, she could also meet her family, who resided in a village in Telangana and were looking for her.
Jasper Paul (in the centre) with the residents of Second Chance Foundation.
“Since that day, I knew I wanted to serve these people on the streets. I started working with many old age homes and volunteering my time to rescue people, feed and clean them, and also learned the local language to engage with them,” he shares.
After doing this for over three years, Jasper founded his own NGO ‘Second Chance Foundation’ in 2017 as he believed everybody deserves a second chance, just like he did.
A second chance at life
“We rescue, rehabilitate, and provide care for the destitute with our team of over 20 employees and a few doctors who volunteer their time. So far, we’ve managed to rescue over 1500 people,” Jasper says. His wife, Theresa, has also joined him in this work.
In fact, it has managed to reunite over 300 people with their families who had gone missing. Unfortunately, in some cases, the families do not want to take them back.
Jasper with his wife Theresa
“They only come after their death to collect their death certificates. We even had one person who did not even fulfil his mother’s dying wish of seeing her son for one last time,” Jasper recalls.
Despite the woeful stories, the NGO ensures the inmates live a dignified life. Most of them come into the homes in the direst states but look entirely different after they are cleaned up.
Rescue, rehabilitate, rejuvenate
At present, Second Chance has three shelter homes in Hyderabad — all of which are rented. These shelter homes house about 150 destitute people.
Over the years, Second Chance has built a network of donors who are helping the functioning of the organisation.
“Back when we started, getting a bag of rice was also a challenge. It was difficult to sustain, but we never focused on the money aspect. Many people always supported us seeing the work we do,” he says.
Jasper has been able to raise funds from crowdfunding platforms like Milaap, DonateKart, and Ketto, which has helped the NGO become self-sufficient for now.
Some of the transformations of the residents at Second Chance.
Jasper says, initially, it was difficult for him to manage all the operations by himself — from rescuing to rehabilitating. He also faced issues while finding employees for the NGO, but the work got divided once they joined.
“We have trained the staff to not only help the inmates but also be kind and compassionate towards them and make them feel safe,” says Jasper.
Further, finding a place for the shelters proved a challenging task as no one was ready to provide their properties on rent. But it only depends on how one maintains it, says Jasper, adding the cleanliness is never compromised in any of Second Chances homes.
In fact, the local police had doubts about the NGO’s operation because of the increased number of human trafficking cases. But, the team now works hand-in-hand with the who help out with the rescues.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, while Second Chances was involved in relief work, it also tried to stay as safe as possible. However, about 11 residents of the shelter and two staff members contracted the virus in May 2021 but recovered from it soon.
The team of Second Chance outside one of the shelter homes.
The road ahead
“While I don’t want my kind of homes to exist, in the sense that people should take care of their parents, I want to build a huge shelter home for the destitute after buying our own land,” says Jasper.
At present, Second Chance is building a hospital for the poor to provide them with free treatment. The hospital — which will be up and running in the following month — plans to collect basic charges for treatment from others.
“I want to build a paradise for them, where they can have a world of their own so that they can enjoy their last moments of life,” Jasper concludes.