Good Samaritan Centre, Cherpunkal

Good Samaritan Resource Centre is an Ability Development Resource Centre administered by Kottayam Social Service Society of the Archeparchy of Kottayam. It functions as the State Learning Centre for the Rehabilitation of Deafblind Persons with disabilities in general. Its services focus on the integral development of persons with disabilities so that they enjoy a life of dignity in society. The centre also serves as vocation training center for youth who get employment after their training.

Fr. Abraham Mutholath and Kottayam Social Service Society (KSSS) developed this program. Fr. Abraham Mutholath donated the land for the project in memory of his parents M.C. Chacko and Achamma Mutholath. Fr. Mutholath also donated half of the construction cost of the building through Agape Movement.

History

Fr. Abraham Mutholath made a proposal to His Grace Mar Mathew Moolakkatt, the Metropolitan of the Archeparchy of Kottayam that he is willing to donate 1.62 acres of land at the Highway roadside in Cherpunkal that he had inherited from his parents for social service of the Archdiocese of Kottayam through Kottayam Social Service Society (KSSS). The estimated land value of this plot at that time was five core rupees.

Fr. Mutholath, who was director of KSSS, realized the need for a resource center for Kottayam Social Service Society for its developmental projects including self-help groups for women, for the physically and mentally challenged, and for taking care of the other less fortunate in the community. He also offered one core rupees from his personal earnings in the USA in installments for the initial expenses to build up the institution.

Fr. Mutholath proposed name for the institution as “Samaritan Resource Centre.” His suggestion was to complete the construction within one year so that it could be inaugurated in August 2011 as a souvenir of the centenary celebrations of the Archdiocese of Kottayam. That goal was accomplished as planned.

The foundation stone for the Good Samaritan Centre was laid on August 15, 2010 by Mar Jacob Angadiath, Bishop of the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago. Archbishop of Kottayam Mar Mathew Moolakkatt presided over the meeting that followed. Mr. K.M. Mani MLA inaugurated the meeting. Mons Joseph MLA, Thomas Chazhikadan MLA, and Mrs. Theresamma Cherian, president of the Kidangoor Panchayath spoke on the occasion.

The building construction of the Good Samaritan Centre was completed within one year. Archbishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt blessed the institution on August 21, 2011. Fr. Abraham Mutholath, the Vicar General of the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago dedicated this building as memorial of the centenary celebration of the Archdiocese of Kottayam. Mr. K.M. Mani, the Finance Minister of Kerala inaugurated the meeting that was presided by Archbishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt. Revenue Minister of Kerala Mr. Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan inaugurated the Samaritan projects. Bishops Mar Jacob Angadiath, Mar George Palliparambil, Mar Joseph Pandarasseril, Jose K. Mani MP, Mons Joseph MLA and other dignitaries spoke on the occasion.

Deafblind Development Program

Fr. Michael Vettikkatt, the director of KSSS developed a program in collaboration with Sense International India and supported by DFID – Global Poverty Action Fund, UK in 2011 for the training of Deafblind persons in the society and make Good Samaritan Centre as a resource and state level training centre for the Deafblind. Their goal was to create an understanding of deafblindness as a ‘unique’ disability and to provide services to Deafblind children and adults, so that their rights of equal opportunity and full participation is achieved.

Deafblindness is a unique disability, it is a combination of visual and hearing impairments in an individual which brings severe complex problems of communication, accessing information and mobility. In addition to this, the social stigma attached to disability and poverty further marginalizes such people leading them to isolation and dependency.

Rehabilitation of Deafblind persons through Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) is a strategy within the community development for the rehabilitation, equalization of opportunities, and social integration of all persons with deafblindness. CBR follows a comprehensive approach to the problems of the persons with Deafblindness. It involves rehabilitating the person in his or her own family and community with the cooperation of the family members, community, and use of various resources available within and outside the community. We train the Deafblind person to live by themselves and to work according to their abilities so that they become contributing members in the family and in the society.

Good Samaritan Centre which functions as the State Learning Centre for Deafblindness, with support of Sense International (India), works towards developing services for deafblind people all over Kerala. KSSS gives technical support to other organizations working in single disability for initiating services in deafblindness. Our aim as a Regional Learning Centre on Deafblindness is to create an inclusive environment for deafblind people in society and ensure quality living for them.

Component of CBR Deafblindness Programme

SENSITIZATION PROGRAM:

Lack of proper awareness and superstitious beliefs keep the deafblind persons away from mainstream society. So, Participation of family and community is essential for the success of this programme. The participation of the community is possible only through Community Awareness. It will help to change the attitude of the community.

EARLY ASSESSMENT:

KSSS regularly conducts Assessment Camps by ophthalmologist and audiologist to identify the deafblind persons. Reassessment camps are also conducted for the persons to know their existing status and improvement level.

EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES:

Early Screening and Intervention Services are provided with collaboration of hospitals and facility of Oto acoustic Emission machine (O.A.E) for the screening of newborn babies at Caritas Hospital, Thellakom. This helps early identification of problems with the collaboration of hospitals and ICDS.

HOME-BASED TRAINING:

Besides the centre-based training, KSSS also provides home-based training to the deafblind children with the support of trained field workers and special educators in the presence of family members.

DDU-GKY (Deen Dayal Upadhyaya – Grameen Kaushalya Yojana)

Under the leadership of Fr. Sunil Perumanoor, KSSS started DDU-GKY program at Good Samaritan Centre sanctioned by The Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. DDU-GKY program is a skill development initiative by the government of India with the objective of providing skill training and ensure job placement to the rural population in the age group of 18-45 years.

Under this project training is given in the domains of Salesperson (retail), Accounts Assistant using Tally, DTP Print and Publishing Assistant, Food and Beverages Service Steward, and Industrial Sewing machine operator to the selected 470 candidates from the rural areas of Kottayam, Idukki, Pathanamthitta, and Alappuzha districts. The duration of each course is three months, and the total project period is three years.

DDU-GKY is both residential and nonresidential. Classrooms and practical labs are made available according to the standards set up by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. This project helps to provide better employment opportunities to the rural youth from the above stated districts.

After interior modifications in the building, the project started in June 2018 with 60 students in the domain trades of accounts assistant using Tally (30) and salesperson retail (30).

For the efficient functioning of this project Good Samaritan Centre is equipped with the following:

IT lab with 30 computers with domain supporting software.

Three classrooms are ready with furniture, CCTV cameras, LCD projector screens, and domain related equipment.

Well-furnished office with reception.

Rooms in the centre for the accommodation of female candidates.

One portion of Agape Center is converted for the accommodation of 20 male students.

CCTV cameras in the entire academic area of the Samaritan centre.

Outcome of the Centre

The local people wholeheartedly welcomed the institution. They are happy that the differently abled children and youth are taken care of in their midst while keeping up their relationship with their families and community. Considering the humanitarian aspect of the project, the architect of the building made his service a voluntary contribution. In the parents meeting of the students, some parents expressed their gratitude with emotion in offering such a service. Some of them shared how their burdens are lessened with the establishment of the institution, how the lifestyle of their children has changed, and how they are able to raise income for their families. The parents expressed their willingness to do voluntary service for the institution whenever they can do so.

  • Fr. Abraham Mutholath made the proposal to KSSS and its patron Mar Mathew Moolakkatt to donate 1.62 acres of land at Cherpunkal Highway roadside for the construction of Good Samaritan Centre.

  • Foundation stone for Good Samaritan Centre, Cherpunkal laid by Bishop Mar Jacob Angadiath followed by meeting presided by K.M. Mani MLA and inaugurated by Archbishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt.

  • Blessing and inauguration of Good Samaritan Centre, Cherpunkal by K.M. Mani, Finance Minister of Kerala and presided by Archbishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt.

Videos

Fountation Stone Laying Ceremony and meeting for Samaritan Center on August 15, 2010.
Buildings at Mutholath Nagar Cherpunkal: Good Samaritan Centre, Mutholath Auditorium, Impact Centre.
Good Samaritan Centre, Cherpunkal with the support of Fr. Abraham Mutholath.
Samaritan Center inauguration at Cherpunkal on August 21, 2011. Part 1/3
Samaritan Center inauguration at Cherpunkal on August 21, 2011. Part 2/3
Samaritan Center inauguration at Cherpunkal on August 21, 2011. Part 3/3

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