Vikraman Pillai, 65, and his wife Mani, 58, are extremely proud as they show around their quaint house that they had built using their bare hands. When life threw curve balls at them, the couple didn’t bow down. Instead, with perseverance and grit, they literally built their own dream dwelling.
The couple, who are childless, have been living in rented houses for years before deciding to build their own house. They knocked on several doors for financial aid, to no avail. Finally, they were included in Life Project which provides aid to purchase plots and build houses, as per the instruction of the Pathanamthitta district collector. They were allowed Rs 2 lakh for purchasing the plot and Rs 4 lakh for the construction of the house. However, the plot alone cost Rs 3.25 lakhs. Vikraman then sold Mani’s gold chain, her only possession, to arrange the rest of the amount.
The couple was in for a rude shock when they realised that they couldn’t construct the house with the meagre amount that they have, especially with the soaring price of the construction materials. That is when they decided to build the house themselves instead of hiring workers. Vikraman had the confidence of working as a construction worker for more than four decades. Meanwhile, Mani who found work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, was ready to dedicate her time and effort.
From building the foundation to cement proofing, everything was done by Vikraman and Mani. They say, with a smile, that no one actually believes when they say that they themselves had built the structure. It took four days to complete the cement-proofing works. The house, which is built in 420 sqft, has two bedrooms, a hall, and a kitchen. Meanwhile, they are happy that they could include a sit out too, as they had wished.
As there aren’t any houses or wells nearby, the construction mostly depended on rainwater. Interestingly, they used the pit that was prepared for installing the septic tank, to collect rainwater. Meanwhile, a customised pulley was built to transport the building materials.
Vikraman and Mani are, now, hoping for the kindness of good-hearted people to complete the construction. Plastering, electrical and plumbing works, and flooring have to be done in order to complete the construction. They could complete their dream home only with the help of monetary contributions and financial aid.
Ac No: 3391998792
Central Bank of Kalanjoor