Social work : Retd Kerala prof built houses for 200 underprivileged families

Insight Online News

Thiruvananthapuram, April 30 : Dr M S Sunil, a retired zoology professor from Catholic College, Pathanamthitta in Kerala, is known for her compassion in providing shelter to the deprived and underprivileged.

She developed the passion while working as the National Service Scheme (NSS) programme officer at her college. She came to know that a girl doing postgraduation from the same college, along with her grandmother, was living in a makeshift shanty without a proper door. Moved by the plight of the girl, the professor decided to construct a home for the student.

With the support of the students and fellow staff members, she constructed the home at a cost of Rs 1.17 lakh in 2005. Since then, there was no looking back for Sunil. The student, Asha, is now a higher secondary teacher in a government school and is still living in the home constructed by Sunil.

Retd Dr M S Sunil

Since 2005, the professor has constructed 200 houses for the deprived and the underprivileged and her 200th house was handed over to two widows, Janaki and Rukmini, at Kavalam in Alappuzha district of Kerala. The land documents are in the name of Janaki (80) while Rukmini is her close relative. The house which was built at a cost of Rs 5 lakh was supported by the Chicago Malayalee Association (CMA).

Union Minister of State for External affairs V Muraleedharan handed over the house to Janaki and Rukmini on April 18, 2021.

Sunil told IANS, “This is the 200th home handed over to a deserving family who were living in a dilapidated tent like accommodation. I really really happy and proud that I could wipe the tears from their eyes.”

President Ram Nath Kovind had conferred on her the Nari Shakti Puraskar for the year 2018 on Women’s Day for her exemplary contribution to the society.

Talking about the selection of beneficiaries, the professor said that the selection is based purely on due diligence on the need and not on the basis of caste, creed or religion.

Sunil has not rested on the laurels she had received from all sections of the society rather from providing homes to the underprivileged she is now also conducting blood donation camps and providing free food kits to 50 families every month.

The retired college professor has constructed 23 homes for those who had lost everything in the floods of 2018 and is now into construction of around eight homes with the 201st home being almost ready.

She said, “Initially, I had to use my own resources to provide homes to the needy but gradually people from all sections of the society started supporting my cause. I think people come forward once they find that you are genuine. I thank God as well as the good Samaritans who had supported me in the cause.”

Interestingly, Sunil has a male name which was a decision taken by her father, late M M Samuel, who was expecting a baby boy and had reserved this name for the child. However, despite the baby being a girl, her father decided to name her Sunil.

“It is an interesting name and people used to ask me all sorts of questions on this name being given to a woman, but I feel that my father’s decision has given me extra mileage in society on this,” Sunil said.

IANS / AGENCY

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