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Eric Correa - 'Building' Lives Again, with Second Housing Project for Poor
By Florine Roche

Eric Correa - 'Building' Lives Again, with Second Housing Project for Poor

Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

There are many people who fail to understand that there is more to life than amassing wealth and its vulgar display. At a time when we come across more and more instances of people's greed for power and material acquisition it is gratifying to know there are altruistic persons who think of the welfare of others and are ready to spend a part of their wealth for the needy rather than accumulating it. Eric Correa is one such large-hearted man whose benevolence has given a ray of hope for thousands of people of undivided Dakshina Kannada, who are unable to have a roof over their head. Through his largesse he has become a role model for others to do something good to the society.

Eric had singlehandedly built and donated 34 houses to some of the poorest in Souhardha Nagar in Padumarnadu village in Moodibidri last year on Republic Day, at a public function. Now he is on the verge of completing the first phase of 32 houses of his second project at Kodyadka in Moodbidri. The foundation stone of this second project under the aegis of Souharda Foundation, through which Eric plans to continue the good work he has begun, was laid during the inauguration of Souharda Nagar in 2012. The work had begun in March/April and within 8 months the 1st phase of the project comprising 32 houses is getting completed soon.

Environment-friendly Project

Souharda Nagar at Kodyadka is about 8 kms from Moodbidri, just a short distance from the well known Kodyadka Annapoorneshwari Temple. Eric had bought 2.77 acres of this inclined land which is developed to build 64 houses of 460 sq ft in a land of 3.25 cents each. These are environmental friendly single bhk houses with tiled roofs, the centre of which is 15 ft high built at a cost of Rs. 2.74 lacs. The roofs are made of steel and hence there is no reason to worry about the maintenance. Eric says that though he would have been able to provide concrete roofs at the same cost environment friendly tile roofs are used for these houses. They have been able to keep the cost of the house low mainly because of bulk construction. However, if these houses were to be built individually by anyone the construction cost itself would have crossed Rs. 5 lacs per house. So how can common people even think of owning a house?

A look at these homes shows that these houses are well-planned with lot of focus on cross ventilation for circulation of fresh air and maximum utilization of space. There is a hall, kitchen, a bedroom, an Indian-style toilet, separate bathroom and a multi-purpose utility area. “We have given emphasis for providing natural light and air in these houses so that the inmates don't have to use fan or lights to avoid heat and darkness”, says Glen D Souza, the Project Engineer, who shares a perfect equanimity with Eric in putting ideas into action while implementing the projects of Souharda Foundation. The houses which are planned in 4 rows have a 20 meter wide road between the rows. There is enough set-back for every house and equal distance between houses is maintained.

A provision has also been made to set aside the area of two sites for a community hall where an overhead tank will also be built to cater to the water requirements of the colony. There are bore wells for providing water and subsequently provision of water supply through the panchayat will be done.

Eric who shows lot of concern for safeguarding the environment says “this is an environmental-friendly colony where we want to minimize the damage to the environment. We have also provided all the facilities in this colony including street lights, wide roads, drainage facility, water supply with water harvesting facility and the residents don't have to invest on anything. These houses are in fact on par with any commercial projects and there has been no compromise on quality”.

Eric Correa addressing the gathering during the launch of his first housing project for the poor

Layout of New Plan

Sharing Happiness

Eric and his team have drawn inspiration from the first project at Souharda Nagar of Padumarnadu, known for being a model colony where Hindus, Christians and Muslims live in peace and harmony. Of the 34 beneficiaries in this colony 12 each houses are given to Hindus and Catholics and 10 houses to Muslims. To avoid any bitter feelings the houses were allotted on lot system where the 34 beneficiaries were asked to pick up a lot and they were allotted the house they chose. Eric says a similar procedure will be adopted in allotting houses at the new colony also.

So far the Souhardha Foundation has received more than 1000 applications for the 64 houses under construction at Kodyadka. Eric's mentor and guide John L D Souza has shouldered the onerous task of scrutinizing the applications and short listing the beneficiaries. Only after short listing the trustees of the foundation will hold a personal interview and finalize the list of deserving beneficiaries irrespective of caste, creed, language or religion.

It may be remembered that Souharda Foundation was launched publicly during the inauguration of the 1st project. Eric is the Managing Trustee of the foundation with friends Louis Pinto, Titus Noronha, John L Cascia and Fr J B Saldanha as its trustees.

Eric says that the applicants for allotment of houses should fulfill three criteria – namely they should not have any land or property in their name, they should be able to sustain themselves in the new colony and there should be a minimum of three members in a family. Only those applicants who fulfill these conditions will be shortlisted for final consideration. The homes will be registered in the names of the owners one year after occupying the house.

Eric Correa had begun his project for gifting houses to the needy on a silent note. A little inspiration he received by taking a cue from others and incidents of his own life prompted him to do something to help those in need of homes. “I went through a tough phase in my life and once dreamt that if I am successful I will transfer some happiness to the needy”, Eric explains when asked what prompted him to begin this righteous act/

People usually are able to feed and clothe themselves but having a home of their own is a dream for many. Eric decided to build houses for these people and help realize their dreams. The result was his first project “Souharda Nagar” at Muragoli. It was his friend Louis Pinto, who is also a Trustee of the Souharda Foundation who suggested that 'his work should be known and should inspire others so that more people are benefited'. This idea appealed to Eric and that resulted in the formation of Souhardha Foundation to give an opportunity for likeminded people to join him in the noble work.

Taking inspiration of Eric, NRI businessman Ronald Colaco and builder Rohan Monteiro announced a donation of Rs. 20 lacs each and NRI businessman Frank Fernandes promised a donation for Rs. 5 lacs at the inaugural public function.

On January 27, 2013 only the 1st phase of 32 houses will be inaugurated and the 2nd phase will be complted within a year. Souharda Foundation will be able to carry on the noble deed with generous help from likeminded people. Philanthropists can associate with the project as donors by contributing Rs. 50,000 or as benefactors by donating Rs. 1 lac. There is also a provision to sponsor a house by paying Rs. 2.75 lacs - the cost of a house. Those who want to help but don't have ready cash can also pay the cost in monthly installments. Donors can also contribute in kind such as by supplying cement, tiles, steel, sand, stones etc.

Sponsored houses will bear the names of the donors and their names will also feature in the board in the community hall. The colony roads or blocks will bear the names of the big donors, says Project Manager Glen D Souza.

Souharda Nagar – The Model Colony

It is going to be a year since Souharda Nagar of Muragoli in Padumarnadu Village has been inaugurated. Located in 2.25 acres of picturesque land of serene beauty which is like a table top, the colony has lived up to the name as the residents of different communities live in peace and harmony. There is happiness and contentment in the faces of these residents, many of whom consider Eric Correa as a representative of god. It can be recalled that during the inauguration ceremony of Souharda Nagar nearly 300 people from nearby areas had come just to see him.

Residents of the colony Jayanthi and her husband Nagesh Rao, consider Eric as their savior and are indebted to him for giving them a roof to call their own. “I was in big doldrums as I was living in a joint family and did not have a house of my own. The very thought spoilt my health. Now, I have a house to call it my own. Eric came like a Laxmi to my house to invite me for the function and within 5 days I had a dream house”, says Nagesh with folded hands thanking Eric. Nagesh lives with his wife, daughter and son-in-law who work as a driver in MRPL.

Vinodhara Poojary, who works as a cook in a hotel in Moodbidri thanks his stars for coming to the colony as a resident. Vinodhara who worked in Bangalore for sometime as a cook came back to Moodbidri unable to sustain his family of 4. When someone told him about the project he applied and got the house. “For me and for my family it is like a rebirth. Now I have a house to call as my own and I don't think I am poor. I am a happy man because I don't think I would have been able to buy land and construct a house on my own from my own savings even if I had worked for all my life”, he says . Vidyadara also points out that the colony has a peaceful atmosphere and the residents live in harmony and such an atmosphere acts like an incentive for them to come home as soon as they finish their work. The residents together celebrate the three festivals of Deepavali, Christmas and Ramzaan .

Another resident Ashique is also thankful to Eric for giving a new lease of life to his family. Ashique lives here with his wife Ramlath and two children and works for a gas agency says his sister had given him information about the project and he had just applied. Ashique states “It is by providence that I have been allotted this house in the colony. Whatever I earned use to go to the maintenance of my family and I could not even dream of building my own house. Getting this house is like a godsend gift and I cannot explain in words my gratitude”.

Joseph Felix D Souza is another beneficiary who says he leads a peaceful and tension-free life after coming to the colony. Joseph who used to live in Kallabettu in Belthangady was staying in a rented house was unable to pay the house rent which was always on the rise. “Now my family is happy and I have no fear about future of my children. We live here without fear and the colony gives us a sense of security”, he avers.

Eric Correa's noble gesture is a true example clearly demonstrating that the efforts of one man can make vital difference to the lives of so many people. When the beneficiaries exhibits their happiness there is joy in Eric's face, the joy that money cannot buy, the joy of giving back to the society.

Those who wish to donate towards this noble cause in whatever way they wish to, the bank account details are as follows:

Souharda Foundation:

A/c No. 0652101034499
Canara Bank, Kottara, Mangalore - 575 002.


Official receipts will be issued after 80-G concession from income-tax department is obtained.


Also Read:

Comments on this article
Agnel Raymond Pinto, MANGALORESunday, April 21, 2013
What a good thought and your help to the poor and the needy may God bless you and give you good health,peace ,joy,strength,happiness,through out your mission,And may god help you all to complete the second phase of the housing project for the poor in time,Agnel pinto & Fly Cascia,
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habib, mangaloreSaturday, January 12, 2013
Erric Correa,I have no words to express .allah bless you my dear, ,Very rarely we can fine people like Eric .May Allah grant Paradise for his noble deeds.
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Cyprian Lobo, KinnigoliThursday, January 10, 2013
Dear Mr. Eric,
Very Good Job, God Bless you & your family
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Shekar Moily Padebettu, Udipi/IndiaWednesday, January 09, 2013
Great and commendable work by great Mr.Eric Correa.Hats off to you sir.This project is restricted only to Moodbidri area or rest of the area too.You bring ray of hope to live in the face of msny unfortunate/poor/unaffordable.Should not restricted to particular community only and there should not be any politics in allotment.What is impossible by the government is only possible by generous and kind hearted people like Mr.Erric correa.God bless you to accomplish your much cherished dream of helping unpreviledged/unfortunate/poor.Once again hats off sir.God bless you.This kind of blessings itself is your wealth.
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Mahalaxmi, MangaloreWednesday, January 09, 2013
It is Very great full job... thank full to you for helping poor people............
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Abdul Razak, MangaloreWednesday, January 09, 2013
Dear Readers, It is for Eric Correa and his Trustees to decide as to whom should be allotted houses, whether Muslim, Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Christian, SC/ST/OBC etc. It is not for the public to dictate terms to Eric Correa and his Trustees. What Eric & Team are doing is something fantastic. I understand that there are a few jealous folks ( like a few rotten eggs in a box ) around who cannot see good things happening and being done before their own eyes.

To Eric Correa and the Trustees, a big Congratulations to you all. Keep up the good work & spirit. You have brought a roof over the heads of many poor families. God bless you all.
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Abdul Razak, MangaloreWednesday, January 09, 2013
The State Govt. should contact Mr. Eric Correa to build such houses for the poor. The quality seems pretty good unlike the Govt. preferred quality. The Govt. builds such poor quality houses that they collapse in 3 years. Contracts are awarded again for repairs at Govt. cost.
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capt.cornelio, udyavarTuesday, January 08, 2013
People without reading the facts pas comments.Out of 34 houses 12 each for Hindus and Christians and 10 are given to Muslims.i think other communities should come forward like Great Eric has done.god bless him and i hope all these 3 communities live in peace long time to come.
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sury salian, kuwaitTuesday, January 08, 2013
Please keep continue this great work...let world recognize for noble award.................i salute you sir....god bless you always.
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CHINMAY, OmanTuesday, January 08, 2013
I dont think Saleem said anything wrong though he was not quite lucid in his statement. What i undestood from his statement is that the ion criteria should not have caste or religion any place in it and as it it is clear from the report it should also help promote religious harmony to uphold the secular fabric of our nation.
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janette, bellore/mangalore/auhTuesday, January 08, 2013
We have amongs us people who have more than enough richesness they didn't do any difference in people ... But Eric did do things differently.... if we have such angels in our society we can eradicate poverty without much time.... its time to awake our conscience ..... and look around people's difficulty who's living around us.... and feel for them and do something good!!!
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vasanth kulai, AfghanistanTuesday, January 08, 2013
Eric....hats off you. god bless your family. you have done good job
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clara helen, Mangalore, OmanMonday, January 07, 2013
What a great Job Eric which big politicians can never think of! May God bless u with all yr endevours! All d best!
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Ron Roche Cascia, Mangalore, AUHMonday, January 07, 2013
Great Job Eric!!! May God bless you with more success in all your endeavours. May he bless you and your family with Peace and Happiness. You have proved that 'Where there is a will there is a Way'. Here's Hoping that many more people may take inspiration from you and be prompted to do little good deeds if not big. Also congratulations to the other esteemed trustees Mr John L D'souza, Mr. Titus Noronha Mr. Louis Pinto and Fr. J B Saldanha. Good luck and all the best to the Project Engg Mr. Glen D'Souza.
Regards, Ron Roche Cascia and fly
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Agnello, Mangalore/MuscatMonday, January 07, 2013
Good humanity is essence of every religion.If every haves do their bit for have-nots the world will be free of poverty and strife.
Wonderful job Eric and your team.
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leelaudai, bangaloreMonday, January 07, 2013
ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು ಎರಿಕ್ ಸರ್. ಕೊನೆಗಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಅಕ್ಕ ಭಾವನ ಮುಖದಲ್ಲಿ ನಗು ಕಾಣೋ ಹಾಗೆ ಮಾಡಿದ ನಿಮಗೆ ಎಷ್ಟು ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳನ್ನು ಅರ್ಪಿಸಿದರೂ ಸಾಲದು.ಅವರು ನಿಮ್ಮನ್ನು ಮಗನೆಂದೇ ನಂಬಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಸಹಾಯ ಮಾಡೋ ಮನಸ್ಸಿರುವ ನಿಮಗೆ ದೇವರು ಇನ್ನೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಜನರಿಗೆ ಸಹಾಯ ಮಾಡಲು ಶಕ್ತಿ ನೀಡಲಿ.
Comment on this message     

Harold D'cunha, Mangalore, IndiaMonday, January 07, 2013

Saleem, Uppala / Dubai. Why this act of Eric Correa, the Good Samaritan, of building second phrase of 34 houses to the poor has taken you to discomfort level.

Do not give confusing, negative opinion. Mr. Eric has already set example and like minded people are appreciating this act of HUMANITY and do support it.

He is only helping the needy and if not mistaken, that is his mission. Off course, his mission is his personal choice.

Religion is opium to society which u have mentioned.

HUMANITY is the only true Religion which has no boundaries and as per my understanding, that is what Mr. Erric Correa is doing. His actions itself is the witness.

We are proud of Erric Correa.
Comment on this message     

Steevan & Babitha, Farangipet / DubaiMonday, January 07, 2013
We Are Very Happy For You Eric Dattu. You Have Done Very Gud Job. May God Bless You & Your Fly.
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alwyn sequeira, kulshekarMonday, January 07, 2013
dear eric we only congragulate u or thank you for ur good work,but i suggest that some collection should be made in the church either one sunday collection or one day of the hall income which will make ur work easy congrats and wish u a very happy,and blessed new year
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John, Udipi/MumbaiMonday, January 07, 2013
Dear Eric Sir, God Bless you, your family members and all those who support you for such a good cause.
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S.M. Nawaz Kukkikatte, udupiMonday, January 07, 2013
Hats up you!, Wel done brother Eric Correa keep it up
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alwyn, CanadaMonday, January 07, 2013
Saleem, Uppala / Dubai your comments contradicting your own statment. Thank from your good heart because Mr.Correa has given houses to 34 people with different religious belief. Pray to one god almighty to give more Correa, Colaco, D'souza, Monteiro who is realy whole heartedly serving human without any expectation. Hindustan has given us peace, happiness, moreover democacy and let that continue forever to live with peace and harmony. We realy don't need dictators around us to steal peace from our great nation hindustan.
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vasantha kulai, kuwaitSunday, January 06, 2013
GREAT JOB.....and god bless you
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Indian, mangaloreSunday, January 06, 2013
We congratulate you for the work you are doing towards mankind!!!!May god bless you and your family.
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Amin Bhoja, Patte / RiyadhSunday, January 06, 2013
Erric Correa a great work of you,a humanity at work. 'GOD'bless you and your family for your good and noble work.Let it be, you a morale to our corrupt politicinas too.
Comment on this message     

Hamza Ahmed, Mangalore/Saudi ArbaiSunday, January 06, 2013
Dear Mr. Eric,
Very Good Job, God Bless you & your family
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christine, mangalore/kuwaitSunday, January 06, 2013
God has called many to do good work, but Few are choosen and you are one from few, that He cammanded.God bless you.according his riches and glory.
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christine, mangalore/kuwaitSunday, January 06, 2013
God Bless you for your kindness,As Godwin Sequeira written according to the word of God.
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MELWYN, UDUPISunday, January 06, 2013
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Godwin Sequeira, Riyadh/KSA/MangaloreSunday, January 06, 2013
Dear Eric, I have no words to express my gratitude towords your generosity But all I can wish and pray according to the Bible:
1.(Genesis 12:2) "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
2.(Deuteronomy 28:12) “The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.”
3.(Ezekiel 34:26)”And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season they shall be showers of blessing.”

Shalom & Showers of Blessings upon you and your family.
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Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore/Mapusa/MumbaiSunday, January 06, 2013
This is my India and not Bharat.........
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Nelson pinto, udupi/OMANSunday, January 06, 2013
God Bless you,Sir.Eric.
May god good health and happyness to you and your familly.
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J.F.D'SOUZA, ATTAVAR,MANGALORESunday, January 06, 2013
The goal/aim 0f amassing wealth more than what one needs is really stupidity. F.Roche has said it rightly. What a wonderful say. Eric Correa constructing 34 houses at Moodabidri naming it Souhardanagar and distributing to the poor people shows that a good samritan. What a sacrifice he has done for the poor and homeless people. Irrespective of cast and creed he has distributed the house. I respect his ideology. Now he has ventured for the second project and 32 houses are ready which will be distributed to the beneficiaries on January 27th just within a year of time he has finished the work. Really great. Hats off to you and Jonel, Cascia who has also done a good job in supporting fully co-operating in this scheme. Of course and now Eric needs money for the remaining houses to build for which financial help is required from like minded people to make it a success. God Bless you Eric and your family for the good work that has been done by you for the society. Meantime other people should also learn from this and try to help by sending money to your trust. I pray let money come to your fund like flood.
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Dev, MangaloreSunday, January 06, 2013
Good Samritans are few but Thank God he atleast blessed them benefiting all.
I have seen Eric Correa & Colaco building houses for poor without getting paid by any. Mangalore Diocese is also planning to build some houses in the near future- My request to them is why don't they adopt a new technology of building low cost but long lasting "Rapidwall" construction which reduces the time as well as resources including very economical to build which I saw in an article of "Tharanga"- Kannada weekly which had published the benfits a few months back.
Sudheer Achar(Udupi) has already built many houses using this technology whereby a house could be built within 21 days at 40% of the cost of traditional RCC buildings.
Why don't he be approached to guide future buildings?
His phone No: 9448177991- as given in that article.
Wish All The Best for our Selfless Leaders who Build the Nation.
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JEROME WILLIAM, MANGALORESunday, January 06, 2013
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M S Sheik, Mangalore/DubaiSunday, January 06, 2013
May Allah grant him Paradise for his noble deeds.
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Vivek, UdupiSunday, January 06, 2013
Rich people never do a thing even after witnessing marvelous deed done by Mr. Correa, who has the pulse of providing basic needs to the needy. A Mahatma in making
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Valerian Dsouza, Udupi/MumbaiSunday, January 06, 2013
Dear Eric Correa & Family, may God bless you in all walks of life.
You are an excellent role model.
God said whatever you do to the least of my people that you do unto me!
God despise the proud and is against gluttony.
Like him there are so many people have lot of wealth as per Gods promise, they will do still better if they sow for the Kingdom of God!
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SP Shetty, BangaloreSunday, January 06, 2013
Eric Correa, Sir Only thing which comes out from me for you is RESPECT ! God bless you and the one who helped with this noble cost and may you give happiness to the more needy once.
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GOOD WORK, ibrahim saudi/yanbuSunday, January 06, 2013
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Austin Kiran D'souza, Bantwal Sunday, January 06, 2013
Those rich family must take example from Eric Correa,Rich persons have lots of money, I mean black money used in IPL or used for wrong purposes, If you help poor people always there is a blessing from above and also have to see are they really poor people?
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nasir, mangaloreSunday, January 06, 2013
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Mohan H Naik, MangaluruSunday, January 06, 2013

"There are many people who fail to understand that there is more to life than amassing wealth and its vulgar display"
When will our corrupt Politicians and Bureaucrats and the society ( including us)will understand this truth ?
The quality of build is decent.This is a roll model for all Government community housing Projects.
God bless Eric and Family.
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THERESA LOBO, Mukamar-SharjahSunday, January 06, 2013
What a good thought and help the poor and needy. Very rarely we can fine people like Eric Correa. People who got the houses will be so very happy and they will pray for you and I am sure God will bless you with everything and in abundance. Eric..you made so many poor people happy by giving them ready houses...God in return will look after you and your family will be blessed too. May God shower his choicest blessings on you and your family Eric.
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Saleem, Uppala / Dubai Sunday, January 06, 2013
Really looks very noble work. But it shouldnt be promote any relegoious , be secure for all relegoius followers should secure in this project.
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