Making a name for your country in a foreign land is a proud moment. It’s a kind of achievement recently honored upon this Indian couple Arun Ashokan and Sumi; who built a school called ‘Kerala block’ in the village of East Africa.
This is a story of determination, hard work, and unity with which this Indian couple – Arun Ashokan and Sumi, their friends, and the villagers of Malawi village together built this elementary school for underprivileged children aged 6-9 years so that they don’t have to walk several km to get the access to the right to education.
We at Mad4India, have brought you a story of this fantastic Indian couple who, with their efforts, brought a new ray of hope in many children’s lives and uplifted the whole village.
What Motivated This Indian Couple To Start School For Young Children?
The 30 years old, Arun Ashokan was born and brought up in Malappuram, Kerala. He was shifted to Malawi, East Africa four years back, where he was hired as a construction company supervisor. Around 2 years back, for dam construction work he went to the village of Chisasila, a place that motivated him to do something for the people there.
On his way to his work, he saw that children of the Chisasila village studied under a leaking grass shed and some even used to study under the shade of a tree with a blackboard- which was an elementary school; set up by the villagers so that little kids don’t have to go far away for education. Seeing the poor condition in which small children are studying, was something he was well aware of back home in his motherland. The image of small children learning in Kerala flashed through his eyes. At that moment, Arun decided to do something for these kids.
Indian Couple- Arun and Sumi’s Journey To Start Kerala Block
The initial idea was to make a strong shed but later on, he decided to make a strong entirely constructed school for the little kids. But the struggle was to get all the finances and for that Arun, savings was not enough.
As we say, a friend in need is a friend indeed; he shared this noble thought of building the school for the little kid with his friend Ashiq- who without much thinking supported Arun financially.
Arun was fighting with the world to make a difference and sometimes that takes a toll on you and you need that support and motivation in your life. Along the journey, Arun went back home for his marriage and found his genuine support and partner in Sumi. And as we say, lady luck helped Arun in achieving his dream. The Indian couple and Arun’s civil engineer friend Kenneth Francis; helped them throughout their journey to make Kerala Block a reality.
Sumi was the steadfast support that Arun wanted in his life and that’s how the journey for this philanthropic Indian couple began.
Indian Couple Found Support From The Villagers
‘When you want to make it big, you have to think big and put in that much effort too’.
The road to building Kerala Block was not a bed of roses for our Indian Couple-Arun and Sumi. They lacked the manpower to build a fully functioning school. That’s when the Indian Couple decided to talk to villagers; who were so moved by their beautiful gesture for the kids and agreed to provide them the much-needed help as well.
Well, not only that, but the villagers also made bricks on their own – which was the biggest surprise for our Indian couple Arun and Sumi, who could not afford it due to the limited finance available. Right from making the bricks, construction work and painting were all done by the villagers themselves. Their contribution meant a lot to them which helped them in making their dream a reality.
During the whole process, the Indian Couple was also able to know the villagers personally and understand their plight. The Indian couple spends most of their free time with the villagers- who are like their own family members. Sumi also teaches the villagers new recipes from readily available resources. Earlier, the villagers used to eat the ‘Nendran Bananas’ – by boiling and eating them raw which she had taught them to make banana chips and sell them – which could become a cottage industry and provide employment for them the villagers and make them self-sufficient. Our Indian couple – Arun and Sumi also run a Youtube channel dedicated fully to the work of Chisasila villagers – ‘Malawi Diaries‘.
A Little Help Goes A Long Way – How This Indian Couple Made ‘Kerala Block’ A Reality?
Seeing the Indian couple and villagers’ efforts to build the school, many also came in to support them. But, the Indian couple didn’t want to take any outside help financially and wanted to work for them as a charity. This effort motivated many people and they wanted to contribute to this noble cause as well. Arun’s company also stepped in and made another building for the school too. During the COVID-19-related work, the village team from the United Nations was moved by this Indian couple’s effort they also helped them and made room for Kerala Block.
The outcome of this Indian couple – Arun and Sumi’s hard work and labor became a reality on February 17, 2023, when Kerala Block was finally inaugurated and given the wings to these little kids to dream big in life.
The Indian couple faced another roadblock when they faced another problem when they were told that the school didn’t have an affiliation which means that after all the efforts the kids will have to walk a mile to sit in the exams. In a situation where many lost hope but not this Indian couple who made sure that Kerala Block got the affiliation from the government up to class 8.
We salute the efforts of this amazing Indian couple – Arun Ashokan and Sumi to help underprivileged kids dream big in life.
Feature Image: Facebook
If you liked reading this story, you could also read about A Saree Weaver Turned Social Activist From Mehdiganj, Nandlal, Uplifted His Whole Village From the Shackles Of Illiteracy