K Abdullah (born Subramani), 51, was in his early teens when he left Puliyankudi near Kadayanallur in Tenkasi district and arrived at Kadakkal in Kollam district in Kerala to earn a living. A Class I dropout, all he could do was help out in a snack shop. Through hard work and sheer perseverance over the years, Abdullah rose in life and went on set up a chain of wholesale grocery stores.
Thirty-five years on, Abdullah is paying back to the society that made him what he is now. He has purchased a 1-acre plot, which is now worth Rs 1 crore, where 87 houses will be built for homeless families in Kadakkal panchayat under the Kerala government’s Mission LIFE (Livelihood Inclusion and Financial Empowerment), which envisages a comprehensive housing scheme for all landless and homeless people in the state. Documents for the land parcel will be handed over to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan next week.
Abdullah spent his early years making and selling snacks. Later, he bought a push cart and started selling snacks on his own. The business slowly prospered and Abdullah bought five shops. A few years ago, he transferred four of his shops to people who worked for him, at a nominal price.
“Abdullah used to be in the forefront when it comes to charity. He used to help a home for the differently abled in a nearby village by providing them food and basic needs,” Biju, Kadakkal panchayat president, told TOI.
“It’s not about having money, it’s about how you spend it. If your money could be useful to those who really need it, then your assets become meaningful. I had spent countless nights under a leaking roof in my house. My circumstances did not let me study further and I had to start working at a very young age,” said Abdullah.
“One cannot help all the people around him, but certainly one can help at least a few people to alleviate their sufferings,” said Abdullah, whose family fully supports his philanthropic activities. Abdullah’s parents Karupaiah and Muthammal, who still live in his native place, had named him Subramani. He changed his name to Abdullah after he embraced Islam in 2001. He has two children – Sabija, who is married, and Mohammed, who is a pharmacy graduate. “I’ve had business transactions with some people in local villages for more than 20 years. They have helped me in many ways to come up in life,” he said.
Biju said there are 127 homeless people in the panchayat, of which 87 will get houses in multi-storeyed buildings to be constructed in the plot under Mission LIFE. Abdullah’s gesture has come at a time when the mission was finding it hard to find land and close a bargain for land deals due to soaring prices. “I never think I lose something when I spend money for others, I actually feel richer,”’ says Abdullah.
Source : Times of India0