Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: It may not have matched the pomp and splendour of Independence Day celebrations elsewhere in the city. But for many of the needy who turned up at the zonal office of State Bank of Travancore here on Tuesday, it was a blessing.

As many as 11 beneficiaries, including physically challenged persons, victims of chronic diseases and mental problems and indigent students seeking funds to continue their education, were given financial assistance at a function organised by the Kshema Social Circle of the SBT.

They included K. Kolappan, a manual labourer admitted to the Medical College Hospital for bypass surgery whose son is bed-ridden after meeting with an accident, Vikraman Nair, a tuberculosis patient and his wife, also a heart patient, and Bhavani, an asthmatic and her mentally-deranged husband. The list also included victims of cancer and motor accidents and patients in need of money for treatment.

The six students were selected for assistance as their parents were incapable of supporting them. Among the students who received aid are A.R. Aswathy, a hearing and speech impaired child studying in Plus 2 and Bhuvaneswari, a computer student with ailing parents. Kshema also lent a helping hand to economically backward people for rehabilitation and repair of damaged huts.