Community to help build houses for Kerala’s Muslim Gulf returnees

By Shafeeq Hudawi,

Kozhikode: The Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), Jeddah Committee has chalked out a unique plan to address the sufferings of the Gulf returnees by announcing to build houses for select returnees hailing from various parts of the state.

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It has proposed a budget of Rs 3.5 crore to meet the expenses of building houses for about 50 families of underprivileged Gulf returnees as part of the scheme named ‘Baithu Rah-ma (house of mercy) for Ex-patriates’.

Model of Baithur Rahma
Model of Baithur Rahma

Though survival is a big question for many of the Gulf returnees, who have returned home for good after long years in the Gulf countries, there is a public perception that they are rich is still prevalent in the state. “This misconception often stands in their way of availing support from both the government and private undertakings. Therefore, addressing this reality, the KMCC thought of this step,” a KMCC functionary said.

The KMCC is the largest body representing expatriates from the state and functioning under the direct control of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML). If things go as planned, houses will be gifted to 50 families of underprivileged Gulf returnees within few months. The scheme was launched and the foundation stone was laid two months ago at a function here where the IUML state president Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal officially announced the scheme and its beneficiaries.

According to KMCC, Rs 3.5 crore will be collected to meet the expenses. General secretary Aboobacker Arimbra said members of KMCC Jeddah have contributed their one day’s wages to meet the estimated expense. KMCC Jeddah, with its district, mandalam, area and panchayat committees, has as many as 25,000 active members. Jeddah Central committee president Ahmed Palayam said the fund collection had already started.

According to Kozhikode district president C K Abdul Rahman, “Each house with essential facilities will cost Rs 6.5-7 lakh. We have identified the deserving persons across the state. Houses are being constructed on the plot owned by the identified persons and additional financial assistance has been extended to those who do not have land.”

Construction has started across the state with 24 houses in Malabar nearing completion, construction works in middle and southern districts are on and keys will be handed over within months, according to Abdul Rahman Atholi, one of the coordinators of the scheme.