Kannan Ambalam from Alanganallur, Madurai won millions of hearts, not only in social media, but in real life through his vision and sheer hard work. The 42 year old man from Pondhungampatti village in Alanganallur, settled in East Africa only to change the lives of people in Ethiopia, a country in African continent which is surrounded by four lands on four sides, forests, wild animals, mammals, birds, marshes, rare plants and continuous stretches of dangerously valleys. This country acts as a home to a vast number of native tribes. Despite of its large population, the country’s growth affected in big time due to the long-standing political conflicts.
Kannan Ambalam who completed his under graduation at Thiagarajar College in Madurai, got his Master’s degree from Madras christian college. Later, he also completed his Phd in Public administration from Jawaharlal Nehru university in Delhi. He who wanted to become an IAS official, got an opportunity in 2009 to go to East Africa as a Professor at the Wollega university in Nekemte, a small town which is located 757 km away from Ethiopia city. He currently holds a senior position in the university in the Public administration department.
As a part of his job, when Kannan went for field work with his students, 6 years ago, he witnessed people of the village consuming unhealthy water without even filtering it. “What I experienced there moved me greatly. All the streams in the area were not desilted and so the water always had sand mixed in. The residents are directly using this water without filtering it” said Kannan while talking about the incident that forced him to help the people. He also came to know that people are dying while crossing streams which has no bridges.
On seeing them struggling without slippers and having no bridges to cross streams, Kannan who says that he couldn’t just ignore it, decided to do the change with the help of his students. “The youth are showing great enthusiasm but there was no one to guide them properly.” says Kannan who realized that mountainous areas in the village are inaccessible by roads.
Kannan who urged Wollega university students to do field work, asked them to identify the problem being faced by the people who are living in the mountain and find appropriate solutions for it. They started building bridges across streams by themselves by using woods. After realizing that donkeys couldn’t cross the bridges which are build with woods, Kannan rebuilt it by using cement. Kannan and his students didn’t stop there as they went on to do developmental work in the areas. “The change was incredible and and unbelievable even for the students themselves” he said. Kanna and his students have built so many small bridges across streams to avoid the injuries and to avoid even deaths. Kannan spent money for these expenses from his own salary, according to reports. He also received money from his freinds to develop the villages.
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Source : BBC news
Now, natural filters were fixed in many mountainous villages which helps people to get clear water. “With the help of many political leaders I know, my students, the people of the village and I worked together to build villages” Kannan says who added that he never felt more fulfilled in life. “I wished to become an IAS official to serve people. Just because I couldn’t reach the position, how will I forget my intention?” asks Kannan who is a hailed hero by the Ethiopians now. “With more support, all the developmental issues in these regions could be solved. But it’s not easy. I;m trying my best” said Kanna who says that he feels one among them now.
So far Kannan ambalam, with the help of his students and local residents, has built, 43 small bridges, 23 water filtering infrastructure, a small dam and a bathroom. “Without the love of these people, we couldn’t have achieved these” says the humble man who made the people of Tamilnadu proud with his good heart and hard work.