KOCHI: “Mother’s organs (including the heart) for sale to aid her children’s medical care and pay off debts”. The plight of a sixmember family came to light on Monday morning when they erected a board stating the above message in front of a makeshift tent along the Container Road in Ernakulam. Shanti S and her five children, three of whom are facing severe health complications, were seen lying in the small tent in the morning even as rain had partially flooded it. ... more...
The family, which used to stay at a rented house in Varapuzha chose to move to the tent made of a plastic sheet after it became impossible for the family to pay their rent.
“My eldest son, Rajesh Kumar, 25, met with an accident a year ago and underwent a brain surgery. He is still recovering. Around six years ago, me and my 11-year-old daughter crashed into an electric post and sustained serious injuries. My daughter is yet to recover from it. Ranjith Kumar, 23, my second son, had a growth in his abdomen which was removed. He can’t stand or sit in a position for long due to the surgery. Two of my children are still in school and I’ve a lot of debt,” Shanti told TOI from Mulavukadu police station after police moved them to the station upon finding them on the road.
Shanti’s husband had abandoned the family years ago. Rajesh was a disco-jockey and used to be the breadwinner of the family till he met with the accident, the mother said. Ranjith can’t work due to his condition. My third son Sajith, 21, used to work at a movie theatre but after the lockdown, his earning have stopped. The youngest two, a boy and a girl are minors.
Pauly T P, development standing committee chairman at Varapuzha panchayat said he met the woman over a year ago. “I acquainted them during the surgery of their eldest son about a year ago. Back then, MLA V D Satheeshan had intervened and helped them with an assistance of around Rs 2 lakh for the surgery. He was also looking at rehabilitating them under the ‘punergeni scheme’.
However, the sudden financial crisis seems to have made them leave the rented house,” said Pauly.
The family was moved to the visitor’s room at Mulavukaadu police station where the health minister K K Shailaja talked to her over phone and assured assistance. Kanayannoor tahsildar reached the police station and held discussions with them.
“Shanti went back to the rented house at Varapuzha after authorities arranged a donation from Lions Club to pay for their stay at the house for the next six months. Medical assistance would be provided with the help of a private hospital. Authorities have also promised to check the family’s eligibility for the housing scheme under the government’s Life Mission,” said Pauly
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