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Another brick in the wall

Event at city mall lets patrons build customised homes.

entertainment Updated: Oct 21, 2010 19:12 IST
Sneha Mahale
Sneha Mahale
Hindustan Times

Till October 3, shoppers visiting Phoenix Mill, Lower Parel, will have the opportunity to donate money, pick up various construction elements and help build a custom-made home.

Titled Build A Home Brick By Brick, the event is being organised by the Indian chapter of Habitat For Humanity (HFH) in association with High Street Phoenix. The money made from the project will be used to build low-cost homes for the less fortunate.

Creating awareness
“The agenda is to create awareness about safe and decent low-cost houses for the lower strata of society,” says John Thattil, spokesperson, HFH.

High Street Phoenix was chosen as the venue as it was offered for no charge and received a footfall of nearly 40,000 everyday. “A higher footfall means we get to sensitise more people about poverty and cheap homes,” he adds, informing that there are over 40 million citizens of India, who are homeless or live in kuchha (semi permanent) houses.

In the mall’s courtyard, a rural model house will be set up. A host of construction elements including doors, windows, bricks, roof tiles and roof panels will be kept ready. The prices of these materials range from Rs 20 to Rs 100.

Patrons can then voluntarily contribute by purchasing the construction elements and then actually placing them on the house.

They also have the option of making custom-made houses. Thattil says, “For Rs 50, they can purchase two bricks or they can buy a window for Rs 100. The money will be used to buy bricks and windows for real homes around the country.”

A special edition of the project will take place on September 30. It will be driven by the Women Builds India Committee of HFH (India), and will see the participation of five to seven celebrities.

Finally, on October 3, the event will culminate with a Hard Hat Day. Here, the celebrities will do their bit to create awareness about the project while patrons will be allowed to don hard hats and help in the actual building of a model rural house.

HFH (India) has built 35,000 houses till now and hopes to build 8,000 more by the end of the financial year. Their recently launched campaign, India Builds World Of Hope, aims to build one-lakh homes wherever needed. As of now their efforts have reached 17 states. Plans to reach others are also underway.

First Published: Oct 30, 2010 13:24 IST