The Pilot Project - Rehabilitation Village for Tsunami victims at Veerapaguapthi Nagar, South Therivilah, Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu comprising of 58 completed houses (consisting of sit-out, multipurpose room, bedroom, external toilet and some with internal toilets, kitchen and staircase to roof) with individual garbage compost pits, electricity connections and water supply infrastructure was handed over to the beneficiaries on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi on Sunday 27th August 2006. In the morning at the mahurat* time of 10.00 a m all the newly completed houses and the community center building had the traditional Tamil housewarming ritual where pots of milk were heated and all witnessed the boiling over milk.
A Rajan, the Nagercoil MLA, performed the formal ribbon cutting ceremony at the entrance of the village and S Aastin, the Nagercoil Ex MLA performed the unveiling of the plaque at the community center. The entire new village wore a festive look, with colourful festoons, and flags hoisted on poles marking the entire route from the main entrance road to the community centre. The villagers also turned up in their fineries. The actual handing ceremony was marked by a visit to a house and walk along the main street by G Shankar, Chairman & Chief Architect of Habitat Technology Group and Radha Kunke, Chief Executive Director, Architecture and Development, representing the two organizations responsible for facilitating and constructing this village.
This was followed by the traditional lighting of lamp at the community center performed by the community leaders like T Kumaresan (Puthalam Panchayat leader) the and various other dignitaries present like C Illayaperumal , P Ganapathi(members of Tsunami association), Konas Salaman (leader of London Mission) and A G Puthiyavan (Mother Teresa Memorial Trust). The welcome speech was given by C T Kumar, (15th ward Councilor, Puthalam Panchayat) and vote of thanks by E Kulanthavel. The dignitaries were all given mementoes to mark this occasion and a special token of appreciation was given to architect G Shankar and the site engineer M L Kumardas for their efforts. It was indeed heartening to note the satisfaction and pleasure on the faces of the 200-odd people who gathered around for the function.
After the ceremony the entire community that had gathered at the community center was served a sumptuous meal of rice, sambar, vegetables, rasam and butter milk in the traditional banana leaf service. The day was memorable not only for the adults who were happy to move into their new houses but also for the children who were seen and heard constantly enjoying themselves at the adjacent play area (having swings, seesaw, monkey ladder etc. and a water body).
* Mahurat is a moment or time most auspicious for the commencement of an activity, and is calculated on the basis of the nature of activity and planetary position during the period it is performed. Thus Mahurat is the best planetary position to start an endeavor.