A lot of stories remain untold as we journey further in our lives. Some of those stories are too good to be shared and some bring us the sense of shame or embarrassment. However, there are the other stories that are meant to be shared and echoed throughout because they are associated to a bigger purpose than just grabbing the attention to ourselves; they do good to the others.
We are all aware of the disaster and the havoc caused by the flooding in Kerala. The whole country came together to aid our fellow countrymen and all of this made the top news. Yet, there are some that remain uncovered and here we present to you with one such story.
Like everybody who stepped forward to contribute in the relief program, we 4 friends began our 2800 kms journey from Hyderabad, hoping to make a difference in whichever capacity we could. As we progressed toward Kerala, there were a lot of unanswered questions, filling our hearts with anxiety because we were heading to a disaster affected zone and what lied ahead of us was unknown at this time. However, we continued and passed by Munnar, witnessing the horrible aftermath because of the landslide that occurred a few days ago; homes washed away, rubble beneath the sliding, collapsed bridges, destroyed roads, buildings. Yet, our only way to the destination was through the mountains beyond all of what we had witnessed already.
Driving for about 4 hours, we got down on the other side of the mountain, to a beautiful place called Koviloor – literal meaning, the land of temples because this tiny village in the mountains has about 24 temples. This tiny village has about a thousand people, with three tribal villages a little away from them. The rains caused havoc, there was no flooding in this region, but because the only way out of this place is to travel through the mountain where the land sliding had happened, the people living here have had an effect on their livelihood as they rely on trading the crops they yield in the market at Munnar. The people living there are very warm and kind. The only network provider available in the region is that of BSNL and that limited the communication with the rest of the world. For someone to get to the village, they have to go through the mountains; and the only means of transportation available are to either take the bus, which is only twice in a day or to hire the 4×4 jeep. On the other hand, with only 2 hotels in the entire village with 2-3 tables each, a couple of shops for the daily supplies, 1 tea center, the entire village going shut by 7PM and away from the busyness of the city life, it was interesting to see how these people lived their lives with such limited resources.
Our goal was to meet someone who could share about the natural disaster which happened twice in 120 years. We got connected with Mr. Abraham Jose who happens to be a true volunteer hero to have given up their fancy lifestyle, successfully running business and jobs to serve the community in Koviloor.
There are multiple tribes in the surrounding hills. Abraham has been working with about 9 tribes and he is working with the local organizations in creating a script for their language these people speak and he also invested his lives saving in buying land to build a model farm for these tribes to be introduced to the integrated farming.
Though they are a village to the border of Kerala, they need the attention from the authorities for a better infrastructure, better facilities for the people living there. They aren’t overlooked for sure, but, a little extra attention would make their lives much better. So, when we offered help, Abraham was very clear that he needs volunteers with marketing and agricultural background. And, if you think your expertise can help Abraham to reach these tribal people in order to develop the community and are willing to commit a minimum of 20 days to work on his team: Please feel free to reach out to us.