The Turning Point
On may 28th 1978, in the prime of his youth, the sudden and shocking demise of Dr.Kurian John Melamparambil`s father, Mr. M.V John due to a Cardiac arrest made him stop, think and realize the value of life. As it was a Sunday his family could not give his father the kind of treatment, which could have perhaps saved his life. He died soon after he had the attack. The dying man`s last words were, "Oh God free me from this pain!!". These last words of his father made a lasting impression on his son, Dr.Kurian John Melamparambil.
The loss of a father, friend and guiding figure for him was the beginning of the thought process that led to his humanitarian activities. His helplessness in not being able to do anything that could stop his father`s untimely death made him think of ways by which he could help in preventing others from suffering a similar fate or loss. This idea that was born in that tragic moment lingered in his thoughts and laid the foundation for the starting of a noble venture.
The need for a Corpus Fund - Divine Intervention
Having decided to embark on his journey of providing free medical treatment to the poor and needy, Dr. Kurian John Melamparambil needed to put together the central corpus fund required to start his noble venture.
In this endeavor Dr.Kurian John Melamparambil, after his marriage in the year 1981 in order to raise funds decided to enroll himself along with his wife, in a state run Chit fund. To realize the extend of divine intervention behind the source of the initial corpus fund for the noble cause, one has to aware of the manner in which a chit fund worked. In a given chit fund, there would be a group of individuals contributing a fixed sum of money, monthly, for a fixed tenure towards the Chit fund. In this particular instance there was a group of 100 people, each contributing Rs.200/- monthly towards the chit fund for a tenure of 100 months. Every month there would be a draw of lots from amongst the contributors to the fund. One individuals name would emerge from the draw. That individual would be entitled to 70% of the entire groups contribution towards the fund for that month. It is worth mentioning here that just as there is a possibility of emerging victorious in the initial months, there is also every possibility of some individuals having to wait for 100 months to receive this share of the chit fund. In short, the draw of lots in a chit fund was nothing but a mere game of luck
Dr. Kurian John Melamparambil raised a fervent prayer from the depths of his heart to the Almighty for helping him with the much needed monetary assistance for his noble cause. Miraculously, from amongst the Group of one hundered individuals the first name, which emerged from the draw of lots, was that of Dr Kurian John Melamparambil. The very next month, call it a striking coincidence or divine intervention, the name that emerged from the draw was that of his wife Sujatha. Between the two of them in a span of just two months an amount of Rs.28,000/- was available as corpus fund - definitely Gods plan to help start this noble venture of Dr.Kurian John Melamparambil, for helping the poor and needy patients, in a small way. His involvement in social welfare activities as part of his profession, and his Masters Degree in Social Work helped him towards achieving his aim of starting a Charitable Organization. On 10 th September 1986, Dr.Kurian John Melamparambil formally started the Melamparambil Varghese John Memorial Charities (Melam Charities) named after his father, late Mr. M.V John. The main objective of the organization is to help and support poor and needy patients by providing medical treatment for their ailments. All patients who approached him were given treatment irrespective of caste, creed, religion or any kind of prejudice. He made it a point to ensure that whosoever approached him was given treatment, and eventually made self dependent in their health to the maximum extent possible. The charity extends scholarships to deserving children of the patients, and also housing, clothing, and food to their dependents during the period of treatment if required. With the interest earned from the corpus fund, and contribution from his salary, he expanded his activities without any publicity or fanfare.
The need for more Financial Resources
As the activities of Melam Charities progressed and grew rapidly, Dr. Kurian John felt the constraints of his own resources and realized the need for urgent funds, he strongly felt that these funds should be generated through some venture of his own. This intense feeling coupled with meticulous planning, resulted in the establishment of a small- scale industry named M.V.J foods under the brand name MELAM range of food products in the year 1992,giving up his job at the Malayala Manorama. As the business progressed, the income of Dr. Kurian John increased, which was channelized directly to the fund which resulted in the increased activities of Melam Charities.