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Monday, April 12, 2021

Three decades after school, classmates gift house to 44-year-old truck driver struggling amid pandemic

Years after we pass out of school, the friends we had made remain. We do not talk to them every day, but a meeting even after a long interval is just as effortless as before.

Such is the story of Muthukumar and K Nagendran.

The pandemic significantly affected 44-year-old truck driver Muthukumar. His usual earning of about Rs 10,000 – 15,000 before the lockdown reduced to hardly Rs 1,000 – 2,000 afterwards.

His home — a hut he lived in — was on the verge of dilapidation.

“I am staying in the same house since I was born. I have been driving trucks to make ends meet, but lockdown reduced my income measly for the past six months. Trees around my house fell during Gaja cyclone two years ago and since then my house has been in a bad shape,” The New Indian Express quoted Muthukumar as saying.

Muthukumar met his school friend Nagendran in September, at a school teacher’s house. His friend’s ordeal deeply affected Nagendran.

Very soon, he mobilized funds through their TECL Higher Secondary School Pudukkottai friends WhatsApp group.

“I met my friend almost 30 years after we finished school. I was distressed to see the condition of his house. Gaja cyclone had destroyed the trees around his house and the roof of his house. One needed to bend to even enter his house. I knew that I had to help him. I formed a Whatsapp group and sent photos and videos of his house. Many came forward to help him,” said Nagendran.

Nagendran and his friends got the house constructed at a cost of Rs1.5 lakhs in only three months, without the help of any engineer. They then gave the house to Muthukumar and his family as a Diwali gift. They even constructed a hut nearby for his mother.

“Even though we weren’t in touch, school friends are special. We must all help our friends in need. Many have suffered during the lockdown. If you chance upon a friend who is in distress, please do something to help them out,” said Nagendran.

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