A project of NSS titled ‘Sahapadikkoru Veedu’ (a house for classmate) inspired students to undertake the task.
Over hundred volunteers of National Service Scheme (NSS) at Sree Narayana Higher Secondary School at Ayyappankavu in the city were a happy lot on Monday when the house they built for a homeless classmate was handed over to him by Union Minister of State K.V. Thomas.
It took about eight months for the students to finish construction of the house by raising funds and helping two skilled labourers through voluntary manual work. In the eight months, the students carried construction materials on their heads from the main road to the construction site located deep inside. They carried cement and sand bags on their shoulders with ease. It was indeed a labour of love.
Now, the house with two bedrooms and a kitchen has turned into a rare gift by them to their classmate Arun Babu, whose four-member family of fishers had only 1.5 cents of land in their possession.
For the parents of Arun Babu, constructing a house on 1.5 cents of land was a near-impossible task. Banks would not grant them loan for constructing a house on such a small piece of land. No government scheme would provide assistance because of the insufficiency of land.
Arun Babu, a resident of Pachalam, never thought that his classmates would fulfil his dream.
A project of NSS titled ‘Sahapadikkoru Veedu’ (a house for classmate) inspired students to undertake the task. The initial fund was raised by the students themselves by pooling in all their meagre savings. Well-wishers contributed the rest. “The first contribution was from Mr. Thomas. He gave Rs 25,000. Then two individuals contributed Rs 18,000. Electrical materials were gifted by a citizen of the city. Students and teachers raised Rs 3,60,000 for the rest of expenses,” said T.N. Vinod, district convenor of NSS. “I am indebted to all of my batchmates and other NSS members. They provided a good house for my family,” said Arun Babu.
According to Vinod, NSS units of the Department of Higher Secondary Education have constructed many houses, shelters and toilets throughout the State on early occasions.