Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 23 February 2024 3.15 AM IST

Gangster to humanitarian, Albin's life story is like cinema


ALAPPUZHA: Even as he lives as a caretaker to the children of the streets and the mentally deranged, Mathew Albin remembers his past that smells of blood. He has a movielike past filled with love, marriage, butchery, gangsterism and murder.

Mathew was accused in 105 criminal cases including murder. Today, Albin runs the Shanti Bhavan Sarvodaya Charitable Trust, which provides shelter to 170 needy people in Punnapra. It was guided by his wife Mary.

Albin, who left the country in search of work, returned to Alappuzha at the age of 18. He became an assistant to the Director of IMS Seminary, Fr Shilanathan. He later developed feelings for Mary, a native of Paravur, who was arriving for the Mass. Trouble started after their wedding. Albin's family did not allow Mary, who came without dowry, to share the same room on their wedding night. Albin drank toddy for the first time on that day. Later, they shifted to a rented house.

Out of prison and a new life

Albin's life turned upside down with the death of his younger brother. Albin wrapped a towel around the neck of his brother's pregnant wife and stangled her. She survived but the twin fetuses died. Unable to bear the grief, he started drinking alcohol. He was also labeled as a gangster after dealing with the group that harassed Mary. He also started a meat shop in Punnapra. He also hacked a policeman named Karunakaran after barging into his quarters. He served 12 years in central jail for crimes including murder. Mary brought up her three children by doing petty jobs.

Albin listened to Mary's advice during his parole. After completing his sentence, Albin was able to fulfill his desire to help the less fortunate with the help of his wife.

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