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November 2, 2002 

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VELLIYEPPALLI: THE VILLAGE WITHOUT HUTS OR SHACKS

Isaac Menamparambil, President, Mutholi Ease Service Cooperative Bank, Pala, Kottayam

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When Isaac Menamparambil, president, Mutholi Ease Service Cooperative Bank had the innovative idea to make Velliyeppally Kadappattor area free of huts and shacks by constructing proper houses, he had a tough time convincing the would be beneficiaries that such a thing is feasible.  That his wife Selin was the Panchayat member of the area did not help matters much.

However, when the poor dwellers of huts were told that the only capital required from their side was labour, they agreed skeptically.  The next hurdle was finding sponsors and good Samaritans for the cause. Soon many voluntary organizations, Jayces, YMCA, Hindu and Christian spiritual organizations and a few individuals came forward with resources.

When they were joined by the Housing Board with its Maitri scheme and the grama Panchayat with its share of funds, the work started gathering momentum.

The National  Service Scheme, Alphonsa College, Pala too contributed their mite in preparing bricks.  The effort of these girls along with the beneficiaries, their relatives and friends created a festive atmosphere in the village.

Today in the place of shacks there are pucca houses costing Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 75,000.  Some of these houses are asbestos sheet roofed while others are concrete roofed.  While some houses have attached toilets some others are without them.

On August 28, the Chief Minister, E.K.Nayanar declared the place as the 1st shack-less village in India.

One of the houses constructed as part of the scheme. 

 

Courtesy: T.K.Rajan, Pala, Kerala Kaumudi, October 4, 1998

Contributed by: Administrator

 

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