01/12/2022, 14.37
INDIA
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A Salesian college builds a house for a poor family in Kerala

by Nirmala Carvalho

Students from the Don Bosco Arts and Science College helped a single mother of two, by raising funds and building a house for them in 10 months. “I am really happy and proud for what the young people of Don Bosco College have done,” said Bishop Alex Vadakumthala. “[S]tudying does not merely mean acquitting another degree but requires opening one’s heart and mind,” he added.

Kannur (AsiaNews) – Students attending the Don Bosco Arts and Science College in Kannur, a district in the Indian state of Kerala, have built a house for a poor woman and her two children.

This is the fourth initiative of its kind carried out as part of the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

Lucy Kudakapalliyil, an assistant professor in the college’s English department, found mother and children while travelling on a bus.

The woman’s husband had left her to fend for herself and their two children, a 10-year-old with mental issues and a six-year-old with kidney problems. Mother and children found themselves with no place to stay.

The educator found temporary accommodations for them at the Avila Sadan Retreat Centre. Later, with the help of Fr Raphson Peter, she was able to obtain land for the three donated by the Illickal family, but still lacked the money to build a house.

At that point, some college students stepped in. Through various initiatives, they raised 500,000 rupees (US$ 6,765) in the towns of Kannur, Thalassery, Mattannur, Koothuparamba and Iritty.

Such an effort was particularly noteworthy given the difficult economic situation caused by the pandemic.

The house was built in 10 months, and the family received the keys in a ceremony held in the college auditorium.

“I am really happy and proud for what the young people of Don Bosco College have done,” said Bishop Alex Vadakumthala of Kannur speaking to AsiaNews.

In addition to learning in college, “we need to inculcate human values,” he added, “because studying does not merely mean acquiring another degree but requires opening one’s heart and mind to a neighbour who suffers. May this spirit continue in all of our colleges.”

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