Rani Thomas, a person who spreads lot of compassion and love for the less privileged through her charity works is on a mission to make the world a better place. She is a part of 67 blankets group in SA and holds a Guinness book record. In an exclusive interview to The Friday Mania She spoke about her passion for crocheting and the love she spreads by being a part of the blanket project . Excerpts of the chat
You have become a part of an international movement where India and South Africa exchanged love and care and your gesture have put a milestone in the relationships between the two countries. Explain how you started your journey to this road?
My journey on this road started off with me participating and winning the Guinness world record for the world’s largest blanket with a few other crocheters from India. During this project I came to know about the 67blankets group in SA whose record India broke at that time. I was curious to know more about this group and the rest is a history.I was amazed at the way 67 blankets worked. I was lucky to interact with Carolyn Steyn Founder of 67blankets. When I watched the videos of the group and their vision for charity, I knew straight away that this is what I have always been dreaming of. God has blessed me with the talent and I wanted to utilize it in the best possible manner.
How you came to know about this noble cause?
I had the opportunity to meet Carolyn Steyn during October 2016 when I visited my Son and his family Dr. Antony Thomas a Neurosurgeon. She showed me how well organized the 67 blankets charity group really is and when she explained to me about her vision for charity and how they planned to celebrate the centenary of their beloved Father of the nation Nelson Mandela I was astonished seeing the love for Madiba. I got involved with 67 blankets seeing the clarity and transparency in their charity work.
What was the inspiration behind your decision to stitch blankets for Madiba? Is it your love for Nelson Mandela’s humanitarian works?
I had always felt a lot of resemblance between Gandhiji and Madiba. I adore the way both leaders worked for freedom.At the age of 40 Mandela went to jail and came out after 27years. He was 67 years when South Africa got their freedom. I really respect him for his sacrifice and the courage he showed for his people. Nelson Mandela has brought happiness to the people who suffered with an unconditional love for his
How satisfied are you after sending the blankets and especially when you know that your blankets are giving comfort and warmth to so many needy in South Africa?
It makes me really happy. The happiness and joy of helping someone less fortunate and to know that every blanket and each stitch we make will end up in the hands of those that really need these blankets in harsh winters makes
all my efforts seem worthwhile. Be a blessing for everyone that you meet. I feel I have inherited my parents love and compassion for those that are less fortunate. It’s not what you have in life but what you do with what you have in life.
They always wanted us to do littledeeds to make the world a better place. With my passion for the art of crocheting I spread love and comfort around the world by Crocheting blankets to keep the less fortunate warmer withthe blessings given to me by God.
Just brief us about the blanket project?
We are going to crochet the World’s Largest Portrait Blanket depicting the face of Nelson Mandela as a tribute to his centenary which is on April 24th, 2018. Spread over 4515sqmt which can only be visible with an aerial view.India has pledged 100 blankets. On August 30th our first set of blankets reached Steyn City. The next set is scheduled to be sent on Oct 20th.
About your guiness book record.?
In January 2016 India beat South Africa’s Record of 2015 by Crocheting 11,148sqmt but SA regained the world record within 6 months and I congratulated them on their achievement. I felt winning or losing is not important as the people that are truly winning are those that are less fortunate. It was this mentality that led to me and Carolyn Steyn becoming good friends
Your future plans to serve the needy?
Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests
of others. My aim is to create an awareness among children about sharing and caring. No matter where u live, the cast you belong to or the country u belong to just loveone another, this way we can bind nations together to bring harmony and peace to the world. Instead of wasting time on mobile phones and other electronic gadgets if children are taught arts such as crochet and the importance of love and compassion the world will certainly be a better place filled with love and joy. I went to a few schools and the response was tremendous. I want to go to many more schools and teach them crochet. My plan is to teach these children to make blankets, Caps etc. and go to hospitals and orphanages and distribute to the needy.
Tell about your family and their support for your missions?
God has blessed me with a very loving and caring family who supports me in every possible way. My husband Thomas a medical doctor by profession is my backbone and his support and love is the reason why I am able to be a part of this charity project. I am blessed with two loving sons both married Eldest son Antony Neurosurgeon by profession his wife Mony is a psychologist blessed with a loving son Theo. Youngest son Anil Thomas is a Marine Engineer settled in Sydney with his wife Anu working in shipping logistics. My family has always motivated and supported me throughout my projects. They are always there for me to help me (especially with new technology).