IDUKKI: A couple in Vandiperiyar, Idukki, has decided to hand over their land worth `63 lakh towards building a model village for needy flood victims.Ganeshan M, 38, the son of a tea worker, was moved by the plight of poor estate workers whose small shelters built on the Periyar River bank were swept away in the flood water. So the ration inspector at the Peerumade supply office, decided to donate their two acres and 10 cents at Kadassikkadavu, 4 km from Vandiperiyar town. He bought the land in 2010 with money from selling his wife’s ornaments and from the retirement amount of his mother, who was an employee at RBT tea estate.
“As a tea worker’s son, I know how hard it will be for residents here now, as a majority of the people here are poor estate workers. Once the workers retire from these estates, they become homeless. With no other option, they construct small shelters on the river banks; that too through years of hardship and struggle. And now their shelters have been washed away in the flood,” he said.
Ganeshan said that since he and his wife have their government jobs to fall back on, they can build a home for their family someday, but the poor people here have nothing. “Our two acres is our bread and butter, but in this hour of need, I didn’t think twice and decided to donate it for them,” he said.Ganeshan plans to construct a model village on the plot which can provide housing to about 60 households, using three cents per house.
The beneficiaries will be chosen from the panchayat, particularly from the area between Vallakkadavu and Mlamala, who lost their houses when the Periyar River flooded over.
“The state government and panchayat authorities have promised to contribute to it, so a multi-housing project with good facilities can be provided,” he said.
An ardent charity worker since childhood, Ganeshan is a recipient of the Vandiperiyar grama panchayat’s best social worker award. He has the wholesome support of wife Azhil Arazi, who works as a UD clerk at the Revenue Department office. The couple has two children, Karnika and Kavinesh.