KERALA

Magical act drives home a point

FOR A CAUSE: A magic show staged by Gopinath Muthukad as part of popularising the ‘Laksham Veedu’ renovation scheme in the city on Monday.

FOR A CAUSE: A magic show staged by Gopinath Muthukad as part of popularising the ‘Laksham Veedu’ renovation scheme in the city on Monday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Thulasi Kakkat

Drive home a point by creating an illusion. That is not an easy task for an ordinary performer. It needs a magical hand to deliver a home to the homeless. Magician Gopinath Muthukad has taken up this challenge.

He has created a few houses of the ‘Laksham Veedu’ category, the typical little houses constructed by the government for low income groups. But don’t be mistaken. They are not the real houses where people can stay for the rest of their lives, but magical structures, where a family can stay only in front of the arc lights, under a makeshift stage arrangement.

He created one such house in Kochi on Monday in front of a packed house at the EMS Memorial Town Hall and another at Thiruvananthapuram earlier. It is to be replicated in Kozhikkode.

“It is part of a mission to help the project for renovation of the ‘Laksham Veedu,’ he told The Hindu. He and his 25-member troupe are contributing to the State Housing Board by way of making the performances free of charge at the three places. The income from the performances will go to the housing board’s fund towards renovation of the “Laksham Veedu’.

Built three decades ago under a project initiated by the late M.N. Govindan Nair, the small houses are in a state of dilapidation. It needs crores of rupees to renovate them now.

The shows are not merely crowd pullers, but attract the wealthy too. In Kochi, the NRI businessman C.K. Menon, made his presence felt by contributing Rs.1 crore to the cause. And many more are expected to join the mission in the days to come. Only then will the Laksham Veedus become shelters strong enough to withstand wind and rain. Housing Minister Binoy Viswom is hopeful. He expects more of such magnanimous acts that translate the wish into reality.

R. Ramabhadran Pillai

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