Judges of the Madras High Court Bench mobilise Rs. 3 lakh for mentally challenged persons

The 64th Republic Day celebrations at the Madras High Court Bench here was marked by an act of benevolence to a group of 40 mentally challenged men and women living a few kilometres from the court premises.

Justices K.N. Basha and S. Nagamuthu mobilised Rs.3 lakh within ten minutes towards the purchase of a van for their transportation needs.

Touched by the plight of the inmates of a vocational training centre run by M. S. Chellamuthu Trust at a Madurai West Panchayat Union community hall at Thirumogur near here, the judges asked Bar Association leaders K. Swamidurai, J. Nisha Banu, Arul Vadivel Sekar and M. Veilkani Raju, who accompanied the judges to the centre, to jointly contribute Rs.1 lakh.

Justice Basha also spoke to senior lawyer M. Ajmal Khan and advocate Isaac Mohanlal over phone and secured contributions of Rs.50,000 each.

The rest of the money will be raised through other senior counsels and the judges themselves, he announced and asked Registrar (Administration) S. Udayan of the High Court to make arrangements for handing over the van to the centre by Thursday.

Earlier, T. Sankara Pandian, one of the managers of the vocational training centre, told the judges that though a few private establishments were willing to employ rehabilitated inmates of the centre, they could not accept the offer for want of transportation.

In addition, the judges assured the vocational training centre that its community hall would get new electrical fittings.

Patient hearing

The judges handed over a power inverter, donated by senior counsel V. Kathirvelu, to the centre and listened to the woes of the inmates.. Forty-eight-year-old S. Kanthimathi, mother of two autistic children, S. Karthikeyan (26) and S. Nandakumar (23), broke down as she described the struggle she had to undergo to bring them up, especially after her husband’s death in 2009.

“They can’t speak, smile or eat on their own. They won’t even cry if you beat them. After their father’s death, I used to go for work in a mill after locking them up in the house. When I return in the evenings, they would be in a mess lying amidst their own waste. It is only when things went beyond my control, I brought them here,” she said, her voice chocking.

The judges met 27-year-old twins S. Ramanan and S. Subramanian, both afflicted with autism, of Samanatham near here.

Earlier, they visited an old age home at Y. Othakadai and distributed shawls and sweaters.

They gave away bicycles to the needy and inaugurated a blood donation camp in the court campus.

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