It is indeed heartening to know that there are schools in Kerala which try to cater to both the body and mind of its wards.

Meet the NCC unit from a Kerala school that built houses for poor classmates
news Saturday, February 06, 2016 - 19:51

Most government-sponsored houses built for gifting to the homeless are less than 500 square feet. One look at them and one wonders how anyone could actually move about much less live in them.

In that backdrop, viewing the seven ‘dream homes’ built by the NCC Unit of the Irattayar St. Thomas School in Idukki genuinely warms the cockles of one’s heart.

52 NCC cadets from the school, part of the unit that functions under the 16 NCC Kerala Battalion chipped in wholeheartedly to give shape to seven ‘dream homes’ which were then handed over to their occupants, all of whom were chosen after a thorough screening.

Five of the seven families are of students who study in St. Thomas school itself. It is indeed heartening to know that there are schools in Kerala which try to cater to both the body and mind of its wards.

Jomon George and his family who received a house.

Each house boasts of about 1100 square feet of space and has a hall, three bedrooms and a kitchen. The houses were built at a total expenditure of Rs.65 lakhs with almost Rs. 9 lakhs being spent on each home under the guidance of the NCC Battalion officer Lt Rejy Joseph.

Just looking at each home, anyone can see the genuine concern and care that went into their construction. This was no haphazard social work undertaken for mere media mileage but a testimony to actually providing a home to seven deserving families.

If Asin is a heart patient, then Dona, Elizabeth and John’s father is unable to earn a living due to physical disabilities. Amalu’s father works as a daily wage earner while her mother is an ayah.

Each family’s tale is one of severe financial hardships with life being eked out under the shade of a few collected tarpaulins or plastic sheets that till now passed off as a place of shelter for them.

Asin John, Amal Amal John and their family who received a house

These seven homes are the result of a full year of hard work put in by the students with the school authorities, other institutions, church diocese, individuals and organisations too participating to make it a truly cohesive social venture.

Rejy also draws our attention to the fact that all donations were accepted in kind and not cash. Anyone who wished to contribute had to do in the form of building materials of any sort which would actually help in the actual construction of the house.

In order to bring down the expenditure, all the cadets willingly participated in the construction work and even missed quite a few classes to ensure their timely completion.

“Along with our students, the locals too pitched in with help with the painting work of a few houses being undertaken completely by them. What better education can life impart than such selfless work?” asks Rejy.

The project which began in February 2015 was completed in exactly a year’s time.

The Idukki Bishop Mar Mathew Aanikuzhikaattil on February 3 officially inaugurated the venture by handing over the key of one of the houses built under the NCC “Care and Share” Project to Jomon George a physically challenged person by birth.

The remaining six homes too were handed over to their joyous occupants in a separate function in the St. Thomas school.