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Habitat Completes 100 Houses For Hospital Staff In Tamil Nadu, India

Foundation stone laid for 1,000-house project in partnership with a microfinance institution

MADURAI, 24th July 2006: Staff from the Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre (MMHRC) may be used to serving others, but they found themselves on the receiving end recently. The hospital’s employees were the recipients of 100 houses in a joint project by Habitat and MMHRC in southern India.

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Occasion of joy: Tamil Nadu governor Surjit Singh Barnala presenting a symbolic key to a hospital employee who received a Habitat house

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Bright hope: Tamil Nadu governor Surjit Singh Barnala lighting the “kuthuvilakku” in a newly-built home. The lighting of the lamp signifies bringing light into the life of the family.

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Successful operation: Habitat built 100 houses for staff of Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Center in Madurai, Tamil Nadu

The houses were part of the Millard Linda Habitat project in Madurai, Tamil Nadu state, in eastern India. 

State governor Surjit Singh Barnala officiated at the dedication ceremony of the houses in Kathapatti village. Others in attendance included MMHRC’s founder and chairman N. Sethuraman, district collector T. Udayachandran as well as hospital staff. From the Habitat side was regional program director Rick Hathaway and Felix Fernandez, the chief financial officer for Habitat for Humanity India

Singh lauded Tamil Nadu as an emerging model state in public health for the rest of India and stressed that good health is a valuable right of every citizen. He noted the importance of housing to an individual as a person’s health is affected by his living space and environment.

He commended Habitat and MMHRC for the 100-house project and wished them success in future endeavors. Singh presented symbolic keys to homepartners.

The governor also laid the foundation stone for another 1,000-house project. This is a tie-up between Habitat and Mahasemam, a microfinance institution supported by MMHRC.

Hathaway spoke about Habitat’s indiaBUILDS project, a five-year campaign to improve the quality of life for about 250,000 people through better housing and also launch other initiatives.

He called on the government, business as well as non-governmental organizations to work hand-in-hand to transform lives by providing homes. His call was reciprocated by district collector T. Udayachandran who assured Habitat of the district government’s support for its projects.

MMHRC is a 500-bed non-profit hospital and medical research facility in Madurai. The hospital has been in operation since 1990 and its 46 specialized medical departments serve the Madurai and southern Tamil Nadu region. Its mission is to combine state-of-the-art medical service with social work and community outreach.

Mahasemam is non-profit institution established in 1999. It aims to reduce the poverty of women in rural areas through microfinance services, formation of self-help groups and income generation activities.