A 10-year-old boy from Parakkinkal near Nagercoil, who was seen begging for alms in front of Nesamony Memorial College for Arts and Science at Marthandam, was handed over to Childline, run by Kottar Social Service Society on Tuesday.

According to police, the boy was seen on Monday carrying with him a laminated sheet of paper, which stated that he had hearing disability and was an orphan.

On seeing his condition, students generously offered him money. But a few college employees, after enquiring with the boy, found that he was able to speak.

On noticing scars of burn injuries on his body, they handed over him to the police.

The boy told the police that he was from Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh and stayed at Parakkinkal near Ozuginaserry in Nagercoil for many years. He also informed the police that his parents were also engaged in begging.

The co-ordinator of Childline, Sr. Vimal, told The Hindu that the field staff, who visited Parakkinkal, identified his parents as Palani and Valli, who were living in a hut on the banks of Pazayar.

The Director of Kottar Social Service Society, Fr. Mariasoosai, said that the boy was presented before the Child Welfare Committee, which directed him to send the child to ‘Saranalayam,’ a government-approved home in Tirunelveli.

According to Tho. Nainar, a social activist of Kothaigramam, more than 200 families from Andhra Pradesh had settled in Parakkinkal several years back.

They were originally snake charmers, but many of them started to run cottage units with government assistance in 1999.

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