Fourteen-year-old Omar’s (name changed) family will now have to worry less about paying off the monthly hospital bills for their son’s dialysis. And so will the family of 10-year-old Arun, who is undergoing a month-long treatment after he met with an accident recently.

Omar’s and Arun’s classmates from St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Pattom, have joined hands to support the medical expenses of the two boys in an initiative titled, ‘Sahapadiku Oru Kaithaangu’ (A helping hand for a classmate). A new project started by the students with the help of their teachers, it aims at helping fellow students in dire need of money for medical treatments.

The students and teachers over the last two months have collected more than Rs.6 lakh by way of voluntary contribution, which has been distributed to the needy students.

Working together

Speaking to The Hindu , Principal of the school Fr A.V Varkey said such an initiative was taken to help financially backward students who struggled to go through medical treatments due to lack of funds. A subcommittee, consisting of teachers and parents, has been formed to identify such students.

“The PTA decided to contribute some amount and we also announced to the students but there was no compulsion. However, the response was overwhelming and we collected close to Rs.7 lakh. Three students, whom the subcommittee selected, were handed over the money last week,” said Fr. Varkey. Omar and Arun are two of them. The project added to one of the many social service schemes such as providing food for the needy.