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Kerala panchayat member builds homes for homeless through crowdfunding

The house constructed by panchayat member Ratheesh Ravi for an elderly homeless couple through crowd funding. Photo: Special Arrangement.

A panchayat member in Kerala is winning the hearts of the people by building homes for the homeless through crowdfunding. Rather than waiting for government funds, Ratheesh Ravi of Panayam in Kollam has been constructing homes for the landless in his panchayat by raising funds from people who are contributing to his noble mission.

It all began when 40-year-old Ratheesh Ravi, a wholesaler of cumin seeds, witnessed the appalling condition in which a few people in his ward lived while he went on a door-to-door campaign seeking votes for himself in the panchayat elections in 2020. “I saw an elderly couple who lived in a shed with no floor. The shed was surrounded by water as it was a marshy land. Their plight moved me, and I was determined to help them,” said Ratheesh Ravi.

Though he won the elections, he didn’t wait for any support from the panchayat to construct a house for the couple. He decided to go for crowdfunding to raise the money required to construct a house. “Several people came forward to help me in my cause,” Ratheesh told “Open Digest”.

In 2021, he could provide land to seven homeless families with the support of the Thri Panayam Devi Temple, which donated land.

Ratheesh says that his mission has not only provided shelter for those in dire need but has also united the community in a common cause of compassion and solidarity. Ratheesh added that when he decided to turn to crowdfunding, the campaign resonated deeply with the community, attracting contributions from residents, local businesses, and philanthropists. “The response has been overwhelming. It’s heart-warming to see so many people come together to support a cause,” he added.

The crowdfunding campaign has also fostered a renewed sense of community among the residents. “Many people have contributed, not just financially but also by volunteering their time and skills. It’s inspiring to see humanity in action, working together to uplift those in need,” he said.

With plans to build two more homes this year, Ratheesh remains a beacon of hope for Panayam, encouraging others to engage in meaningful acts of kindness and support for their communities.

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