When their houses get waterlogged due to overflowing of the Killiyar river during the monsoon, many people living on its banks know exactly where to head for safety. During these times, it is the People’s Reading Room Arts and Sports Club in Jagathy, a youth club, that acts as a safe haven for these people.

Started 53 years ago by a group of local people with the aim of promoting arts and culture among the people, the club is now known for its philanthropic activities too. From setting up a day-care centre to annual endowments for schoolchildren, the people’s club has taken up various activities.

A prominent contribution of the club is ‘Vidhyanidhi’, an annual endowments scheme to support students from financially backward families. This year, the club will hold the Vidhyanidhi programme on May 25. Students who have fared well in the SSLC examinations will be give cash awards and students from select schools in the area will receive free uniforms. The club will felicitate Haritha.V. Kumar, UPSC first rank holder,” said Ambooty , Art Secretary of the club.

The pre-primary school and day-care centre started by the club 15 years ago now has more than 50 children from financially backward families.

“We have two qualified teachers and two helpers to look after the children. The club also runs a micro-finance programme to help people, who face financial problems by setting up people’s bank,” said the former secretary R. Pradeep. The All Kerala Professional Drama competition organised by the club is a well respected event, which has participation from various established theatre groups.