50 years as MLA; Oommen Chandy is still busy solving people's issues
Kottayam: Even in the 50th year as an MLA, Oommen Chandy has only addresses with a Puthuppally in it, be it the 'Puthuppally' house in Thiruvananthapuram or the Karott Valakkalil house in Puthuppally in Kottayam. Even when he was the chief minister, Oommen Chandy never failed to pay a weekly visit home. However, this custom was broken during the lockdown.
The MLA is busy helping the people who are unable to return home, lost jobs or suffering from diseases during the COVID times. Due to the restrictions, people are not visiting his house these days. Instead, Oommen Chandy has kept a window open to listen to their troubles.
Learn from anyone
Puthuppally panchayat president Nibu John had an experience with Oommen Chandy when he was finance minister. During a car journey to Thiruvananthapuram, a acquaintance joined them. As he was a little drunk, Nibu felt angry at him. But next day, Oommen Chandy quoted some words said by the man in the assembly. After this, he said that one can learn from anyone, Nibu remembered.
Kunjoonju (Oomen Chandy's pet name) got his compassionate nature from his home, said his teacher 102-year-old Scaria Thommy. From his very first election, Oommen Chandy always cast his vote along with his teacher. Scaria also remembered an incident when a large vessel of boiled paddy was stolen from Kunjoonju's house. Then his mother said that let it be taken as only poor and needy will do that.
Named after grandfather
Oommen Chandy's sister Valsamma Mathew also recalled their bonding. "We need a sibling when we are in sadness. When my son Sumod died in a bike accident in 1991, Kunjoonju consoled me. But later, I read in his interview that he was most devastated in life when his nephew died. He was only 26 years old then. Our father K O Chandy's father V J Oommen was an MLC. Oommen Chandy was named after him," she said.
Love and belief
Fr A V Varghese, the vicar of Puthuppally church, said that Oommen Chandy always will be present for Holy Mass in the church whenever he is back home. He is spiritual and never fails to read Bible before sleep, he said. The locals also agreed that Oommen Chandy is a model for all for his survival instinct and life full of hope.