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When a school in Kerala came together to build house for two students

School Managing Committee Chairman G Biju handing over a cheque to House Construction Committee president Shiju Kumar. Also seen are the students - Arya and Meera. Image Credit: Special Arrangement

A school in a small village in Kerala has come together to construct a new house for two of its students whose house collapsed in strong wind and rains. Local residents of Kallar in Nedumkandam along with management committee and Parent Teacher Association of Government Higher Secondary School (GHSS) at Kallar demonstrated the power of collective action to help the two children get a new home that too at a walkable distance from the school.

The school authorities decided to help the students – Arya and her sister Meera – as their parents were not financially sound to construct a new house after their old house situated on a steep side of a hill collapsed in heavy rains and winds a few weeks back.

While the fund for constructing the new house was raised from different well wishers, a farmer in the locality came forward to donate five cents of his land situated at a prime spot at Kallar.

“We are really happy that we could help the two children. The construction of the house has begun and it will be completed soon. The students along with their parents used to live in a small house situated on the steep side of a hill. The students have to walk over three kilometres to reach the school every day. Also it was risky to live in such a spot where a landslide could happen any time during the rainy season. We put together a team of teachers, parents and local residents to brainstorm ways in which we could help the students and decided to construct a new house for the siblings,” said PTA president T M John.

He said the response was overwhelming as parents and local residents rallied around the cause by donating money. “Our gesture could show the students the importance of helping others and being a part of something bigger than themselves,” he added.

Meanwhile, the decision to donate five cents of prime land for constructing the house for the children has earned Sajimon C R alias Saji Chalia, 50, an alumni of the GHSS, admiration from several quarters.

Sajimon heard the family’s plight and decided to donate a portion of his land to them for free to construct a new house. He felt that it was the right thing to do as he could not bear the thought of a family with children being homeless. “We cannot live detached, ignoring the sufferings of others. I have made all I have from this society in which I am part of. So I wanted to give something back to society. I have always believed in helping others,” Saji told “Open Digest”. Though Saji wished to keep his generous act a secret, the local community publicised it because such an act could inspire others to think about ways to help the needy. “It is a remarkable act of kindness that deserves recognition,” said a local resident.

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