A family that was on the verge of losing its house owing to loan defaults never thought the very same bank officials who had come to attach its mortgaged property would turn saviour. The manager and officials of Pandalam branch of Kerala Bank who came across the plight of K Rajamma and her three siblings who live at Thonnalloor at Elassery decided to do their bit so that the hapless family got back their land in which stands their unfinished house.
Battling similar experience in her childhood, bank manager K Susheela could easily empathise with Rajamma and was determined to save the hapless family.
Susheela was happy as she sits down to share the touching story of generosity:
All their savings were nothing but misery....
I got transferred to the Pandalam branch of the bank where I joined as the manager in November 2020. While examining the files of default loans I stumbled upon the case of this family who had pledged their property against a loan of Rs1 lakh on May 30, 2008 to set up a house. The family with three unmarried members was literally struggling financially, and hence the work had to be halted leaving the construction of the wall of the house unfinished. Matters moved from bad to worse during the course of construction when the makeshift shelter where the family was temporarily residing was gutted.
The bank initiated recovery proceedings on November 4, 2010 when the arrears due to the default in payments came to the tune of Rs 2.50 lakh. The amount was brought down to Rs 1,28,496 at a bank adalat. Of late, I visited their property site as part of the recovery procedures, and was moved by the pathetic state of affairs of the family. I was determined to help them out to prevent the bank from taking over the property.
What came as a blessing was our WhatsApp group comprising banking community, which includes retired officials as well. I presented the case of the family in the group. The response was so overwhelming that contributions started pouring in from as low as Rs 100. My husband and children supported me in a big way, and did not forget to chip in their share. In a few days I was able to pool in Rs 99,000. Earlier, the bank had allowed to waive the interest amount. Hence, through a collective effort, the principal amount was repaid fully and the family was happy to get back their property on March 31. The documents were handed over to the family in a small event held recently.
Home, a dream yet to come true....
The family was able to get back the possession of their property, but the need for a safe and secure housing continues to be a dream. This could be easily realised with the support of a kind-hearted Good Samaritans of Kerala.
My life is my experience...
I was born into a middle-class family. Caught in family problems, we went through deep financial crisis after my mother lost her ancestral property. She raised me with the help of many humanitarians who were not even known to me. Due to the impoverished situation I managed to complete by education from parallel college in half the fee amount.
When my marriage was fixed in 1987, my mother was not even in a position to arrange a lunch party for the guests, let alone dowry. I was not employed at that time. Even then I took a loan of Rs 2,000, only to default the payment. Years later, when I became a bank official, the first recovery file that I came across was that of taking over my own house. By then, the arrears have grown to Rs4,500, including the interest. Later, my husband cleared the entire dues. So I have grown through the hardships of life, that helped me empathise with the family.
I hail from a small town of Omalloor in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. My husband is a retired ex-service man and we have two children. I am greatly indebted to my family and colleagues for being a great support system.