Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Mar 01, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Thiruvananthapuram Published on Mondays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

A one-man show

Appuswamy, a woodcutter, has proved that he can build a house and dig a well, single-handedly.


CAN SOMEONE build a house and dig a well, single-handedly? Appuswamy, a woodcutter, has proved that he definitely can.

Sachithanandha Madham, Appuswamy's home, is located a few kilometres off the Paripally Junction. It took Appuswamy more than 100 days to build his 400 sq.ft. residence in 11 cents of land.

He made huge bricks of clay and used clay as mortar to build the walls. Financial constraints led him to opt for a thatched roof. A large crowd gathered to see him digging the well. Appuswamy evolved a unique contraption to clear out the mud from inside the well. All he required was a wooden post, five pullies, four ropes and a basket. The basket was filled with sand and with the help of a rope it was pulled up. The three ropes were pulled one after the other and the basket moved along the rope. The mud was emptied about 25-foot away from the well. The basket would be brought back into the well when another rope was pulled. Thus, all the mud inside the 34-foot well was taken out and within 16 days the well was ready to be used.

People discouraged him but Appuswamy was not disheartened. "I prefer to be alone and do things all by myself. So I built my own house and dug a well without any one's help," he said. Appuswamy, married Radhamma, who works in a cashewnut factory. Her job was was their only source of income while the house was being built. People feel that he is abnormal, says Appuswamy. But all he wanted to do was to prove to those who were economically backward that they too could build a house all by themselves.

Appuswamy was the second son of Chellappan Pillai and Kamalakshi Amma of Parayam, a place near Palode. Appukuttan Nair (as he was named earlier) studied till Class 6. During his schooldays, he worked as a newspaper boy. Later, he discontinued his education and took up the profession of a woodcutter. After his marriage he settled down in Paripally.

Appuswamy has designed a novel drainage system to drain the rainwater through a tunnel, which passes beneath the house. He made a trench and filled it with plantain stems and covered it with mud. The plantain stems decayed by the time his house neared completion and the trench assumed a hollow shape. This functions as a pipeline for rainwater to flow through. Forty-eight year-old Appuswamy has registered his home as a charitable institution. He wants to build small houses for the homeless families in the 11 cents of land he owns. But financial constraints has made him put his dreams on hold. "God willing, I shall be able to make my dream come true some day," he says.

BINU JOHNSON

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2004, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu