For over three years, the students of the M.D. Seminary Higher Secondary School here have been active participants in a noble cause in which contributions are made towards constructing houses for their indigent school mates.
The idea to launch the assistance programme had been suggested by a group of teachers who were selected for Census data-collection activities and had then realised that several students of the school were in dire need of a helping hand.
With the proposal receiving wholehearted support from all quarters, the project was formally launched on July 13, 2009 on the occasion of the 100th death anniversary of Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionasios II, the founder of the school.
School principal Reji Abraham says they had initially planned to construct a house for the benefit of the family of one student found to be eligible. Students were asked to contribute the money saved by not spending on chocolates and sweets.
Teachers and parents also pitched in with their share. A sum of Rs. 6 lakh was collected which was sufficient to build three houses with all necessary facilities. It was later resolved to continue the efforts until the funds required to construct five houses could be arranged. Meanwhile, the school had roped in the assistance of members of local bodies in ascertaining the background information of five students who were identified for benefitting from the project.
On February 10, 2010, the former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly K. Radhakrishnan handed over the keys of the houses to the families of the students at a function held at the school.
The school had later decided to carry on the philanthropic endeavour and the students have ever since made it a habit to contribute their savings for the project.
Yet another milestone was attained on Tuesday with the handing over of the key of the eighth house constructed as part of the project. Handing over the key, Bishop Philipose Mar Chrysostom, Senior Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church, lauded the efforts of the school and called upon all schools in the State to take up similar projects.