ALAPPUZHA: Ponnamma, 66, has been crippled for the last 12 years. Her younger son Prasaanth, 30, is autistic. Her husband Balakrishnan Pillai,72, is a drunkard. They live on the meagre income earned by her elder son, Pradeep Kumar, 33, an attending staff at Head Post Office, Mavelikara. The authorities have turned a blind eye to the plight of this family of Thazhayil Vadakkathil Puthanveedu, ward number XVI of Thekkekara panchayat, Mavelikara. Ponnamma does not get old-age or handicapped pension. Her ration card is in the non-priority list because her son is a 'government employee.'
The son with autism does not have a disability certificate to get any government benefits. Her request to the ward member to include her in a pension scheme has been ignored. Though her husband gets pension, he wastes it for drinking.
She was crippled following a fall from the bicycle while Pradeep was taking her to the Mavelikara Government hospital for treatment 12 years ago. She cannot stand on her legs and does all jobs sitting. She has to wait till dark to relieve herself as she cannot move out.
"I sleep on the floor on a piece of rag and takes bath inside the room. If I get a vehicle with wheels, I could move freely," she told this reporter. Balakrishna Pillai had owned 14 cents of land which was sold for just Rs 70,000 several years ago. He shifted his family to a seven-cent land in a water-logged isolated wetland where they now live. Pradeep Kumar, an M.Sc Mathematics dropout, has urged the authorities to include his mother in a pension scheme and convert his ration card to priority list. Beena Praksah, ward member, said that it was not her duty to include the family in the priority list to get government benefits and ration. The supply officer has to do it, she said.