Case study story of Mr.Palasubramaniyam

Mr.Balasubramaniyam, age 61 from Mullikulam village, proudly invites the SF team to pay a visit to his vegetable garden.  SF team (18 animators and 6 staff) after their monthly progress review meeting at Mullikulam, marches towards his house. The team while entering his house premise admires the work done by this old and energetic farmer. A small uncompleted house stands among bitter guard, long beans, manioc, brinjoil, plantain and snake guard.

The team through their curiosity and anxiousness throws various questions to know the mystery behind this successful story.

Mr.Balasubramaniyam together with his seven children and wife displaced from his village in 2007 carrying the important documents and assets. In the two years exodus from his village to the last point at Mullivaikkal in 2009, his family went through tremendous suffering and human tragedy and the unbearable experience was that his wife got killed in a shelling. Thereafter, the poor father had to play the role of a father and a mother in order look-after his children. Again a tsunami hit experience in his life that four of his children got missing in the cause of heavy shelling and cross fire. At the end of April 2009, his family left behind everything at Mullivaikkal and went emptied hands to IDP camp where one more boy got married without his consent and left the father.

In 2010, in the process of resettlement, the frustrated and wounded father together with his 2 school going children came to his place of origin which had been fully surrounded by bushes and creepers appearing like a forest. The house made of clay and cadjan got ruined and he could not locate his house premise. He was finding it difficult to protect the children and to survive without any source for income.

In mid of 2010, Caritas-Valvuthayam entered in to Mullikulam area for the assistance of housing and provision of livelihood inputs. Mr.Balasubramaniyam was selected as a beneficiary for Rs.350,000 worth of housing and water pump to kick start the income generation activities. Later while observing the hardworking spirit and manpower put on cleaning the gardening lands, Caritas-Valvuthayam based on the recommendation of CBO, provided facilities for the construction of agro-well.

When Caritas-Valvuthayam continued to assist the most vulnerable people of this area with the funding of Stromme Foundation, he completed his family development plan and marked his dreams as completing the construction of house, agro-well, increasing his household income through vegetable cultivation and educating the children. At the same time, he became the member of CBO and SHG and got the chance of getting first loan Rs.20,000 that he used to purchase vegetable seeds and fertilizers.  After the harvest, he settled the loan and got the next loan Rs.40,000 that he used to clean another two acres of his land and started cultivating beans, bitter guard and snake guard. Thus, he continued to get the loans from CBO and SHG in order to increase his house hold income day by day.

He proudly says, ‘All my married children did not like to stay with me because they thought that they had to look after myself and my other two school going children. I am earning more than Rs.30,000 per month. My school going children are also studying well and I am spending more than Rs.20000 on their education, food and clothes. I have Rs.35,000 saving in our SHG. My married children know that I am leading a good life and have enough money. Because of Caritas-Valvuthayam all my children are now gradually coming to me. They support me and we have extended the vegetable cultivation from two acres to four acres. I do only provide guidance and site support but the hard works done by my children. It is an unforgettable assistance in my life and of my children’s life. Thank God and Caritas-Valvuthayam.’

At the same time, it was a good learning experience for the animators and staff to motivate their beneficiaries in their target villages not only on the side of livelihood but also the effective functions of CBO and SHGs for the betterment of their society and the most vulnerable people of this sort. 

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