Though 15 years old, all that he is able to coherently speak is the word “amma”. Rescued on Saturday evening from the Coimbatore Railway Junction, it was on Monday that he lisped his name as “Iyyapan”.
ChildLine staff K. Selvakumar found the mentally challenged boy at the Coimbatore Junction on his routine rounds on December 14. When the staff found that he was alone and crying for help, he brought Iyyapan to the Don Bosco Anbu Illam. Routine rounds are made by the staff in the morning, afternoon and evenings when the train traffic is at its peak to spot such children and rescue them.
Till Monday morning, the staff could not get Iyyapan to speak about his whereabouts. It was only when sari-clad ChildLine Co-ordinator S. Uma helped him eat, did he utter the first word ‘amma’. From then on he has been repeating the word whenever he sees a sari-clad woman, says Uma. Cajoling did not yield results till late Monday evening when he finally told them his name.But the authorities are yet to verify this. Till Tuesday evening, the staff were not able to get any more details from him.
Though most of the time, Iyyapan is seen crying, there are moments of happiness and smiles when he see the boys of Don Bosco Anbu Illam play a game of football in the afternoon.
The boys too try their bit to get him talking, but he only keeps repeating the question, the official said.
“He must have been close to his mother. His calling out for her shows that he misses her and wants to return home. But we are at a loss because he is unable to speak clearly or reveal anything about his identity We are also not able to decide whether his parents have lost him or abandoned him,” Uma says.
Though his right hand is normal, Iyyapan uses his left hand to eat. Those who identify the boy or have any information to share, can contact ChildLine on 0422-1098 or 0422-2260778.