Abdul Kalam, after a few years of stint in the Gulf region, flew back to Kochi, his native place in Kerala. He is now plying a pre-paid taxi at the CIAL airport and had never planned to build a house of his own. "Whatever happened in my life happened fortuitously," Kalam says.
When he returned to Kerala he joined a chit fund. "It was then I came to know about a 3-cent plot for sale nearby,” he says. He bought the plot by gathering whatever savings he had. “When I owned a plot the dream of building a house slowly sprouted," says Kalam.
Kalam won the chit fund five years after buying the plot. He availed a loan of Rs 5 lakh by pledging his title deed and started the construction. The borrowed amount was exhausted quickly, yet the construction reached nowhere. Therefore, the project was stalled for a while.
"My friend extended some financial aid and the construction resumed. But that too did not last long. However, I was able to finish the structure when my kin also came forward to help," he says.
His friends, who were dealing with building materials provided him with pipes, sanitary wares, electrical goods, sand, metals and so on for an indefinite credit period. There were people who did painting and other works on nominal charges.
The house features a sit-out, living, dining, kitchen and two bedrooms with attached bathrooms. When finished the cost of the house including the structure and furnishing stood at Rs 16 lakh. The family which includes Kalam's wife and two children are happy that they have a house with all the modern facilities and that they are not burdened by any heavy home loans or other liabilities. "Life now seems beautiful in this small paradise of our own," elated Kalam says.