Pathanamthitta couple cancels haj plan, donates land for Life Mission project

Couple Jasmine and Haneefa along with Health Minister Veena George , Photo:

Pathanamthitta: Aranmula residents Jasmine and Haneefa were making arrangements for their long-cherished dream of going on haj and were prepared to sell their land to raise funds for the trip when they had second thoughts. Instead, the couple, married for over three decades, decided to donate its 28-cent ancestral land to LIFE Mission, the State government's flagship housing scheme for the landless.

The couple's decision came after it saw the plight of a neighbour-family living on a rented premises and found it difficult to cremate the body of a family member who died recently.

"We were planning to sell our property and use the funds for haj pilgrimage. But, in the past couple of months, we saw some incidents in which certain families find it difficult to cremate their family members as they don't own a property. Such incidents made us rethink our Haj plans," Haneefa told PTI.

He said recently, a person passed away in his locality and a community leader donated his four cents of land to that family to conduct last rites and cremation.

"After that incident, we decided to make use of the land to help the needy instead of going for haj," Haneefa said.

Local Self-Government Minister M V Govindan hailed the decision of the couple and said it was an inspiration to society.

Minister Govindan said the couple was an inspiration to the forward journey of society which needs to embrace every human being.

"People like Haneefa and Jasmine have set an example of humanity and are role models for society," Govindan said.

Health Minister Veena George on Sunday visited the house of 57-year-old Haneefa and received the agreement to hand over the property for the Life Mission from the couple on behalf of the Aranmula Grama panchayat.

The land, owned by 48-year-old Jasmine, was received under the 'manasodithiri mannu' campaign of the Left government, Govindan said.

"Till now, the government has received 926.75 cents of land in 13 locations for the Life Mission scheme. Also in 30 locations, 830.8 cents of land have been assured for the Life Mission. The project has also received a sponsorship of Rs 25 crore to construct 1,000 houses," the Minister said.

Govindan said he hopes more people would come forward to help the poor and draw inspiration from the couple.

The Left government has till now handed over 2,95,006 houses to beneficiaries under the Life Mission scheme, he said. He also added that 34,374 houses are currently under construction. There are 27 housing complexes that are also under construction, he said. PTI

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