You might have heard of a food bank, a book bank, or a toy bank. But any idea about a “Weds bank?”
This unique model of charity aims to provide wedding attires, donated by the privileged, to brides and grooms of limited means.
This idea is among the more than 50 novel projects materialised by Wayanad district panchayat member Junaid Kaippani in his division, Vellamunda, in 20 months.
As a people’s representative, Mr. Kaippani, who is also the welfare standing committee chairman of the civic body, has set a unique model in India’s rural governance through the projects.
“We started the Weds bank project nearly 10 months ago, and as many as 28 couples got the benefit,” Mr. Kaippani says.
He was also able to provide footwear to all differently abled persons in his division under his “Padasparsam” project in six months. Another project named “bed bank” is meant for the financially weaker section of patients bedridden at home. The scheme has already provided cots and beds to several patients who are too poor to afford a bed of their own.
He has also set up a Leadership Institute of Political Practice for students studying in standard IX to undergraduate courses to impart lessons on public speaking, writing, improved organisational skills, and public service.
While the “Gothra Kshemam (Tribal Welfare)“ project ensures the government welfare schemes for the tribespeople reach the beneficiaries, the “Happiness Voice” project aims at improving the mental health and happiness quotient of the people of the division under the guidance of nearly 20 psychiatrists and counsellors across the State.
In addition to this, Mr. Kaippani’s travelling allowance from the district panchayath is set aside for the students who are incapable to pay their travel expenses. The latest project was “Kambala Natti,” a rice planting festival of the tribespeople in Wayanad, to conserve the traditional paddy seeds and rice fields in the panchayat division.
“The dearth of funds is not a constraint for the successful completion of the projects as I am acting as a mediator between the haves and have-nots in my division,” says Mr. Kaippani. “There is always a limitation to the flow of funds from civic bodies and the government. Many a time, it would take untimely delay in getting the funds owing to technical snags or other issues. But the full support of all sections of society helped me to complete the projects in a time-bound manner,” he added.