MALAPPURAM: Two school-going children who were living alone in an apartment at Manjeri after being abandoned by their parents for the past few months were rescued by the district Child Protection Unit (CPU) on Thursday. The plight of the children, a girl aged 15 and her brother, 12, came to light after the officials of CPU visited their apartment following a tip-off. They were produced before the Child Welfare Committee and sent to two separate care homes. The girl, studying in Class X in a government school here, hadn’t gone to school for the last 11 days as she was suffering from breathing problems.
She had consulted a doctor at Manjeri Medical College for her ailment. The children’s mother, who was separated from her husband, had taken them to Manjeri from their native place in Kollam a year ago and settled in the rented flat. She left for the Gulf in search of a job five months ago leaving the children in the care of their grandmother. The mother was sending them money every month for their expenses. Their father is settled in Thiruvananthapuram with his second wife and has no contact with the children. The grandmother left the flat four months ago due to a dispute with the children’s mother. Since then, the children had no one to take care of them, though the mother was in regular contact with them over phone.
The sister had to manage the house chores along with her studies and that of her seventh standard brother. “They were not getting good food and were mostly relying on snacks. There was no sign of proper cooking in the kitchen of the flat. We have contacted the mother, but attempts to contact their father and other relatives failed,” district child protection officer Sameer Machingal said. “All aspects of the case are being investigated and we will rehabilitate them by roping in the Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam CPUs,” he said.