God’s Villa – Twenty20 redefines the ‘laksham veedu’
The ‘laksham veedu’ colony or ‘one lakh’ colony, is a mass housing scheme for the socially and financially backward communities started by the state government in 1972. The houses that came up under the scheme across the state became dilapidated over time due to lack of proper maintenance and upkeep and, as a result, the colonies became synonymous with ghettoised living. Widely reported were how the houses in many of these colonies were so decrepit that they had started to pose a threat to those who lived not just in the house but also nearby.
This was also the case with Njarallur in Kizhakkambalam where 37 houses of an erstwhile colony were rebuilt by Twenty20. The houses had started to cave in, were crumbling and generally in a pathetic condition. Many had tarpaulin sheets pulled over the roofs to prevent rainwater from seeping in and some of the residents were even forced to share space with milch animals.
“People were living in abject misery in filthy conditions when Twenty20 came to power in the panchayat,” said Sabu Jacob, chief coordinator of Twenty20 who is also the MD of Kitex Garments. “Rebuilding the houses here were one of our priority programmes.”
In early December, the colony wore a sprightly look that could give any prestigious villa project a run for its money. Most of the old structures were razed to the ground and in their place stood spanking new houses. This was also the first time in India when a mass housing scheme had come up sparing no cost on design and quality of construction materials.
Speaking to the media Sabu Jacob said that due to space constraints each house has been provisioned adequately for a second storey.
“As each of these houses stand on four cents of land we have made sure that should the family later on feel the need for additional space, they can build up. There is a stairway from which the top floor or terrace can be accessed.”
Each house has two bath-attached bedrooms, a spacious living hall and a kitchen. They are all fitted with quality furnishings from market leaders. The Vaastu-compliant design combines functionality with modern day aesthetics. Every house has also been given an ample parking space and verandas paved with decorative tiles. The revamp of laksham veedu colonies do not end here but extends to ensuring that the residents have a good quality of life too.
“We are also giving everybody household goods and appliances worth over two lakh rupees at a hugely discounted one lakh rupees,” Sabu informed to the delight of the gathered crowd on inauguration day.
The lucky residents of God’s Villa have already begun moving in, packing, along with their possessions a renewed zest for living and strength to dream new dreams.