It was a day of immense joy and fulfillment for Qatar-based Indian businessman Ahammed Iqbal who donated 1.5 acres of land in his native place to build houses for 15 families left homeless by floods last year.
Karad, a village in Malappuram district of the southern state of Kerala, Sunday witnessed a function where the families received the keys to their new homes.
“The smiles of gratitude gave me a feeling of delight. I am glad that I could uplift some flood victims from despair to happiness,” Iqbal told Gulf Times.
After the land was handed over to the district administration, the 15 houses were built with funds contributed by M P Ramachandran, chairman of Mumbai-based Jyothy Laboratories Ltd.
Iqbal recalled that the district administration had received several applications from many families whose houses were washed away in the deluge. The beneficiaries were selected after scrutiny and drawing lots.
Most of the beneficiaries came from Kavalappara village that was wiped out by a massive landslide and flash floods on the night of August 8 last year.
The natural calamity claimed 48 lives while leaving hundreds homeless.
Iqbal, who was in Qatar during the deluge, approached the Kerala district administration expressing his readiness to extend a helping hand to the victims.
On behalf of Iqbal, his friend Mujeebu Rahman handed over the documents to the district administration.
“I simply wanted to do my part for the victims and stand with my people during the tough times. I have sufficient land and my religion allows me to take only three pieces of cloth when I depart,” he said, adding that his parents very often inspire him to help landless people.
Kerala's Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel and magician Gopinath Muthukad handed over the keys to the beneficiaries.