How a Priest From Kerala Built Over 100 Cabins for the Poor

Father Jijo said that the devastating Kerala floods of 2018 moved him to help the homeless.

Updated
India
2 min read
Father Jijo Kurian, a priest living in the Idukki district of Kerala, has built over a 100 small low-cost cabins for those who were struggling to find a safe shelter.
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Father Jijo Kurian, a priest living in the Idukki district of Kerala, has built over a 100 small low-cost cabins for those who were struggling to find a safe shelter.

What prompted him to do so?

A report on The News Minute quoted Father Jijo talking about how the devastating Kerala floods of 2018 moved him to help the homeless.

“I saw a woman living in a shed with tin sheets as the roof and walls. It was raining at the time, which resulted in leaking. I wanted to build a small house for her, a house without any leakage. I discussed it with my friends. We managed to raise Rs 1.5 lakh through various sponsors and built a cabin house for her,” the priest explained to TNM.

Although he started with building such homes in the Idukki district, soon enough, with the help of like minded people, he extend his work to other districts as well.

Typically, the cabins are around 300 square feet, replete with one or two bedrooms depending on the size of the family, a kitchen, one bathroom and a verandah. They cost anywhere between Rs 1.5 lakh to 4 lakh, depending on the size and often end up being a shelter to those who cannot get a home under government schemes.

"Many people have approached me, offering to financially help build the house. So, we connect the sponsor directly to the beneficiary. We haven't done any fundraising programmes yet," the report quoted him as saying. In some cases beneficiaries also chip in to build a house.

To do this, there are masons and local workers and five teams of social workers to oversee the construction. Together they build around 5-7 houses a month.

Although unexpected hike in prices of materials required to build the houses turn into hurdles, Father Jijo said that he and his team have been able to overcome this with the help of friends and strangers.

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