How was your childhood days?
I was born in a Roman Catholic family. I have a elder brother and a younger brother. I have always been a rebel since childhood. My father was working in ship, so he used to come only once a year. I used to give hard time to my mother. I had to change six schools, as I was thrown out of all the schools. I failed in 8th standard and decided to discontinue my studies. I left to Bombay to work.
How was your life in Bombay?
As I had no education qualification, I started working in a hotel at Kurla as cleaner for first six months. Later I worked as a helper in garage for another six months. I came into contact with underworld at this time. I started working for underworld don and was involved in collection of Hafta and recovering money. My mother was very upset with my choice and used to cry a lot. She used to pray to god to get me into right path. However I was in such age, that I would not listen to anyone. While I was in Bombay, many tragic incidents occurred here. I decided to leave Bombay and come to Shankarpura.
How was it coming back to your hometown after leaving Bombay?
Police got the information that I am here and came with a force of around 35 personnel in front of my house the very next day. They arrested me. My father struggled a lot to release me. With the help of lawyer , he got me bail. However there were two conditions. I was not supposed to leave city without informing police and I had to sign every Sunday in Udupi police station. My father was very happy that I secured bail. I still remember him burning crackers on the day I came back home from jail.
After coming from jail, did you again get involved in underworld?
No. I was quite for sometime. However I later started smuggling whisky and penny from Goa border. I got into trouble there many times. Once I was drunk and hit a policeman. They took me to jail and hit me. As I was drunk, I did not feel anything. However the next 30 days was hell, as I was struggling to walk. Even though I was earning lot, I was not getting peace of mind. I decided to leave all this. I told my mother that I want to lead a normal life. She was very happy and sent me to Pune, where her elder sister was living.
What work did you do in Pune?
I worked in a garage. I was paid rupees 20 per month. I was given a room and I was given dal and rice daily to eat. I worked sincerely. However everything changed, when I got bone disease. I was admitted to hospital. The doctor told me that I will not be able to walk lifetime. He told I must quit non veg and must be under medication, so that pain gets reduced. I came back to Udupi and went to JMJ hospital in Udupi. However Dr Vaidya, also gave me the same answer and said I will not be able to walk lifetime. I was shattered.
How did you overcome the disease?
I cannot describe the pain I was undergoing. It was so severe. My legs had swollen and had become like stone. It was unbearable. I decided to commit suicide. However my mother was a great support. She asked me to attend prayer meeting. I was an atheist and I did not believe in god or prayer meetings. However I decided before I commit suicide, let me listen to my mother atleast once.
Prayer meeting is said to have changed your life. Tell us more about it?
I just went there for my mother. In the prayer meeting, when I listened to verses ion Bible, I felt very guilty as I had hurt many people. I started to cry like a child. A person there told me that I am suffering due to my misdeeds. He asked to me apologise to all the people, whom I have hurt. He assured that Jesus Christ will heal me. I met all the people whom I hurt and apologised to them. You will not believe, the disease left my body. By god’s grace, it has not returned until now. I came to know that there is god. Even Dr Vaidya was shocked. He was very happy for me.
After coming out of deadly disease, what did you do next?
I left to Bahrain and started working as a helper. I got a vision of Jesus Christ and he said to me that I must go back to my hometown and do something good for my people. I decided to follow Jesus Christ’s word and came back.
How did Vishwasada Mane start?
I bought some land in Shankarpura and decided to do something for people. In 2000, first prayer meeting was held here. Many people got rid of alcoholism and also came out of rowdyism. 14 mentally challenged persons were brought here in 2003 and looked after.
How did the thought of helping mentally challenged people come?
Jesus Christ asked me to do so. I decided that getting mentally challenged people back to normal will be the best service and decided to do it. We get people who roam on road. We first clean them. We have a team of doctors and nurses, who monitor them. Within few days, they become fine. They remember their family members. We have a team, which takes them back to their house. The happiness which I get, when they meet their family members cannot be described in words. Almost 620 people have rejoined their home.
Vishwasada Mane has grown today. You are even looking after children and orphans. What do you have to say regarding this?
Yes we are also looking after children and old people. We only look after orphans. We not only look after them, but also make them self independent. We teach them tailoring, farming and other useful things, which will make them independent.
How much does it cost to maintain everything?
We have a expenditure of almost 9 lakhs per month. We have a staff of 49 people including doctor and nurses. We pay all of them. All the expenditures are looked by the funds which we get.
What are your future plans?
I want to have a rehabilation centre for HIV affected people, leprosy affected people and for prostitutes. I also want to build cancer hospital and mobile clinics here to help needy. Building houses for poor and digging borewells are also in my mind.
Tell us about your family?
I am married to Elizibeth. We have three children. My first child is Rachel Jenema D’Souza. I want her to become doctor so that she can serve people. My second child Miracle D’Souza died at age of two. My third child is Faith D’Souza. My wife is very supportive and is helping me in looking after the ministry.
What is the message which you want to give to people?
I want youngsters to serve people. We see many youth spoiling their life drinking and getting into drugs. I want them to serve the country. I hope I inspire them to serve the society. We must make our country a better place to live. All the youngsters should join in to serve people.
Pr. Sunil D’Souza is an inspiration. He realized his mistakes and came out of it to lead a good life. He is helping so many people without any religious or caste bias. We hope that people get inspired by his works.
We would like to thank Pr Sunil for giving the interview. KonkanConnect.com hope that all his dreams are achived and he continues helping people.