“I lived like an animal on the
street, I die like an angel, loved
and cared for.”
Kalighat patient to Mother Teresa
In the early 1950, as she was serving the poor
in the streets of Calcutta, Mother Teresa came
across many dying destitute. She would take
them to the local hospitals but was often
refused admission because her patients were in
conditions “beyond medical help” and the
hospital had too few beds to accommodate even
the patients with better chances of survival.
After years of desperate searching, in 1952
Mother Teresa opened the first “Nirmal Hriday”
- a home for homeless sick and dying destitute,
in the Kalighat area of Kolkata. Mother Teresa
wanted all those dying in the streets, those
‘unwanted’ by the hospitals or by their own
families, to be given a chance to recover or to
die with dignity, loved and cared for by the
Sisters. Today in India, we have 180 Homes
caring for the poorest of the poor, that is,
abandoned, dying destitutes and physically and
mentally challenged adult men and women.

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