In 1997, as a Parish Priest in Thampalakkadu parish, Fr. Sebastian Vechookarottu successfully rehabilitated 3 alcoholics through counselling, prayer and group therapy. This was the beginning of similar group exercises which steadily grew into a monthly program. Gradually the number of people attending these sessions increased and Emmanuel Ashram, a center for retreats, counselling and rehabilitation of drug addicts and alcoholics was born.
Simultaneously Fr. Sebastian observed that many people with psychiatric problems were abandoned on the streets. He brought them to a temporary shelter which functioned in rented premises and cared for them. This was the beginning of Penuel Ashram which came into existence in response to a crying need. By the end of 1998, the number of inmates increased and a permanent building was acquired. Now Penuel Ashram is a home – for mentally sick destitute. The Ashram provides shelter, food, clothing, medical aid, entertainment, counseling and rehabilitation services. It is a Centre offering love and care to the mentally ill, the abandoned streets and rejects of society. The volunteers pick up sick people from streets, bus stations, rail stations etc. All our services are offered free of cost to the beneficiaries.