When a priest stepped in with cabin houses in Kerala


Express News Service

IDUKKI: For 43-year-old Suni (name changed), of Kottayam, it was a dream come true when she and her family, comprising her husband and two kids, moved into their new house in April. After living in rented houses for 15 years, this would not have been possible for the family if not for the humanitarian gesture by Fr Jijo Kurian, who lives in Idukki. The cabin house has a sit-out, a hall, two bedrooms, a common bathroom and a kitchen, work on which was completed within a month.

Fr Jijo, 42, runs a monastery, Santhi Niketan, a farmhouse at Naduthani. He has 35 workers who do welding, fabrication, plumbing and wiring. The priest was busy completing the work on nine such houses in Wayanad when the lockdown played spoilsport. He had set about helping the homeless by providing affordable and budget homes after the 2018 flood. “Over a period of time, we have provided 130 houses to homeless people across the state,” said Fr Jijo.

“When most of them have been living under tarpaulins and makeshift houses made of flex boards, these low-cost houses are a blessing.”The 300-600 sqft cabin houses cost between `1.5-`2.5 lakh raised through good samaritans’ donations, he said. Suni, a computer operator, was having a harrowing time making ends meet as her husband, 52, is suffering from diabetes and cellulitis, and is confined to home.

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