When Arunima R. Nair, a volunteer for the National Service Scheme, lost her father, her fellow peers from the NSS scheme were determined to help.
Within a span of a year and half, 12,000 students of St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Pattom (in Trivandrum, Kerala), worked extremely hard to raise a sum of ₹4.5 lakh in order to build a house for Arunima who lived in a mud house.
In order to raise funds to help Arunima, students devised a plan – they would urge their fellow peers to collect 50 kg of newspapers and magazines each. They would also spread outside the purview of their school and go door-to-door requesting people to give them old newspapers and magazines, so they could be sold.
They also tied up with a local residents’ association to help them with their fund-raising efforts.
Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia
Parvathy Prasad, school NSS leader spoke to The Hindu noting, “It is a big thing that a house was made possible by the efforts of students. When the idea of selling newspapers came up, we didn’t think it was possible, but we are happy that the structure is complete.”
Even as hundreds of kg worth of newspapers and magazines was being gathered, students came up with other plans to raise money as well. They started making soaps and lotions, and sold them in their own school. They also bought loose flowers from the market, string them into garlands and sold them for a profit.
Once a substantial amount of money was collected, work began on building a new home for Arunima. Determined to help her in every possible way, many of the volunteers headed to the construction site to offer their services, whenever they were free or had a holiday.
Their dedication has paid off. Today, Arunima has a brick-and-mortar house to call her own and quite possibly friends to last a lifetime.