Graham Staines story is very much inspiring for everyone who wants to be beneficial for society. What Staines & his family did for needy people is worth reading.
In this blog: We’ll take an overview of important incidents that occurred in the lives of Graham Staines and his family. Read till the end, I bet the conclusion will be shocking.
The idea of writing an article about Graham Staines struck when we recently came across the above image. It is a still from the movie The Least of These.
Introduction about Graham Staines Family:
Graham Stuart Staines (known as Graham Staines) was married to Gladys and had 3 children (Esther & Philips and Tony). Being a native of Australia, Staines and his family have a long history of social work. As a missionary, Graham Staines visited India for the first time in the year 1965.
Graham Staines moved to Baripada, India and settled there. He along with his family committed themselves to help poor and needy people and they found solace in India.
Graham Staines Story – India and Staines VS Leprosy
In rural areas of India around the 1980s, Leprosy was not just a disease but a curse. Graham Staines saw many of villagers being cast out of the society. Graham Staines took up the leper patients and started a shelter home to provide treatment. He also taught many poor people skills of making handmade baskets etc and as a charity, he sold them and used that money to buy medicines for them.
Forced Conversion was a Burning Topic:
People in India were seeing many foreigners converting poor rural people into Christianity by force or by offering money, which is/was not legal BTW. Same allegations were made on Graham Staines as well. Since people around Staines started following Christianity, many people spread the news that Graham helped people only if they accept Christianity.
A few cases were filed against Graham Staines but he didn’t care much. He continued helping people with his charity deeds. Many reporters tried hard to find evidence against Graham Staines forced conversion but nothing was found. But this rumor made a lot of communal groups blood thirst for Staines.
Night in Wagon at Manoharpur:
On 23rd of Jan 1999, when Graham Staines was at Manoharpur with both of his sons in his van. A group of people led by Dara Singh who claimed to belong to a communal group called Bajrang Dal attacked Staines. They burnt the van and Staines along with both of his sons died. It was one of the saddest days of Indian Society as many lives were dependant upon Graham Staines & his family.
Post Graham Staines Death:
Here comes the most inspirational part of the story. Gladys Staines continued her service to the patients with the same enthusiasm. She didn’t let a few people who killed her husband and kids to affect everyone who’s dependant upon Staines family.
Urgently Required: Donations needed for food and medicines at OLD AGE HOMES
She never looked upon accused with anger & vengeance. She continued saying, “Do not give hope, pray for India” (In fact in the red colored pic above, you can see the burnt van in the background)
In 2005, the convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment by the supreme court of India. (which was changed to sentence to murder in 2011)
Gladys Staines moved back to Australia with her daughter in 2004. She was also awarded by multiple honors for her (and her family’s) service and contribution to India.
The true hero of the Graham Staines story is Gladys, who showed a real example of how one can be determined about helping people, no matter what happens. I repeat NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS.