In the end, it was a very simple, symbolic step. Months of preparations for starting the Pullolickal Charitable Trust was fulfilled in a simple step. A frail, 92-year old Kolathammackel Ammachy, who herself could not stand straight due to osteoporosis, inaugurated the trust by lighting a lamp. This meant that, perhaps generations of deserving people in the areas around the original Pullolickal family will get a helping hand in pursuing their dreams. I saw a few moist eyes during the ceremony. It was the most proud moment for Kunjuppappan (Dr. George Jacob), who wanted this trust more than anyone else and relentlessly pursued it and made sure that it happened.
After the inauguration, the family convened at the top floor of the Kothala house for a family meeting. Mohan provided the invocation. Kunjuppappan opened the meeting by briefly tracing the Pullolickal family history. He recalled how the elder three brothers (P.C. Kuruvilla, P.C. Punnoose and P.C. Mathew) worked hard so that their younger siblings (P.C. Chacko, P.C. Zachariah, P.C. Kurian and Dr. George Jacob) could pursue higher education and get gainfully employed. It was a great sacrifice. Ammachy had to milk dozens of cows everyday. Areeparambil Ammachy stood by her side, in taking care of her younger brothers and in preparing meals for the dozens of farm workers, working to plant cash crops. Often they had to go hungry as the food usually won't be sufficient for all members of the family. No complaints. The empty stomach was filled with the sweet water from the family well.
Those selfless action by the seniors bore fruit. The younger sons got good jobs. The family had the first milestone when Kunjuppappan went to England for his higher studies. The travel was by ship and took 6 weeks to cover the distance. When he had returned, we had the first Pullolickal member with a foreign degree - a proud moment indeed.
Seven years later, Raju from the Tharavadu would make the trip to United States to pursue higher studies. This time, the travel was by airplane and would be accomplished in two days.
Times are different now. We have a number of our members in Europe, North America, and Persian Gulf. Our family is blessed with scores of engineers, lawyers, and doctors, among other things. We had given birth to several successful business ventures. A website developed by our own family member is one of the most admired website for health and is ranked in the top 5 websites. So, we have captured the electronic world as well.
This is the payback time, according to Kunjuppappan. Our family always took care of its neighbors. They often looked at as a beacon of hope when they needed us and we never disappointed them. It is time that we make sure that the future generations will be taken care of too. That is the purpose of this Charitable Trust - to give back something to the society for helping us with our blessings. It is also a tribute to the senior members who had worked hard so that the family can climb and explore untrodden territories.
Kuriachenappappan (P.C. Kurian) spoke next. He is the managing trustee for the Trust. He briefly described the bye-laws under which the trust will be registered. The day to day activities of the trust will be overseen by a board of trustees comprising one member from each of the branches of the family (9 in total). In addition to this two members may be nominated by the General Body, if they felt that their presence will add substantially to the operation of the trust. He welcomed the family members to examine the trust documents and to make suggestions, if there are any.
Raju spoke next, representing the second generation. He said that the opening of the Pullolickal Charitable Trust can pave way to more ambitious things in the future like the many foundations in America. He pleaded the the family members not to think of the foundation as something that should be left alone after the initial contribution. We have an opportunity to contribute to the foundation at the time of Christmas, at times of the significant events in the family, etc. Let us work hard to grow this foundation to be something of a significant change-setter in the family. This is our way to show tribute to the senior members, who have played a significant role in ensuring our future.
The audience liked the idea of the enhanced role for the trust. Kunjuppappan suggested that when one of our family member gets a job, he/she can contribute the first pay or portion of it to the trust. Others suggested sharing a portion of the dowry with the trust. Several other ideas were also suggested in the meeting. The meeting ended with lot of hope and expectation for the future. The participants had a feeling that they were participating in a historic event - something the future generations will view with awe. It was a giant step for the family.
See: Good participation by family members get the trust rolling.