KASARAGOD: For 15 years, Rajan and his wife Maimuna were living in a shack on the side of the national highway near the Nehru Arts and Science College at Padannakkad. The widening of NH 66 came as a blessing in disguise for this couple as the revenue officials came to know of their existence and initiated steps to get them a plot of their own.
On Tuesday, Kanhangad municipal chairperson K V Sujatha handed over the ownership deed of a 10-cent plot in Madikai village to Rajan and Maimuna during the Pattayamela organised in Kanhangad to mark the LDF government’s 100 days in office.
“For the first time in our lives, we have a plot to our name,” said Rajan, choking on his words. The couple had come to Kasaragod from Alappuzha in search of a livelihood 15 years ago. Maimuna, whose both feet are crippled, and Rajan, living with several ailments, survive on the kindness of residents. “To own a piece of land was just a dream,” said Rajan.
That’s when revenue officials came knocking at their shanty to evict them to widen the NH 66. But when Kanhangad village officer A C Abdul Salam heard them, he took the initiative of finding them a plot under the government’s scheme. Salam filled the forms and searched for a plot. When he could not find a plot in Kanhangad village, he took the help of Madikai village officer S Soviraj. Together, they found a 10-cent plot for Maimuna and Rajan in the village. “I hope we get a house too on this plot before I die,” said Maimuna.
On Tuesday, 589 people in the district became landowners as the government handed over the title deeds of the land. Many of them were possessing government land for years without ownership. The ownership of the plots was handed over under the Kerala Land Assignment Rules.