Kochi

Elderly couple shifted from tumbledown shed

Adivasi couple Veluppan and Pappal, both in their 70s, at their house in Muthalamada.

Adivasi couple Veluppan and Pappal, both in their 70s, at their house in Muthalamada.  

Until Saturday afternoon, septuagenarian Adivasi couple Veluppan and Pappal lived in a squalid shed through the roof of which the sky was visible. They called it their home, not knowing whether they would be able to survive the upcoming monsoon under that tumbledown shed.

The squalid plight of Veluppan, 76, and Pappal, 74, never affected the civic authorities and people’s representatives until it became a topic of discussion during the COVID-19 lockdown through the social media. A handful of social and human rights activists took the matter up. And the government’s attention fell on the two sickly couple living near Vellaramkadavu Babupathi Colony in Muthalamada panchayat.

On Saturday afternoon, K. Babu, MLA; and Muthalamada panchayat president K. Baby Sudha shifted the tribal couple to Guruprasadam Charitable Trust Old Age Home at Kozhinjampara, managed by the Social Justice Department.

The department had to act by shifting them to its old age home following pressure from different quarters. Trust chairman Suresh Purushothaman and secretary C.C. Mini received the elderly couple at the old age home.

Panchayat officials had reportedly said that they could not take care of the couple as they did not want to reconstruct their house.

Rights activists led by Raymond Antony appealed to the State Human Rights Commission seeking corrective action against such “gross negligence of human rights.”

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 9:27:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/elderly-couple-shifted-from-tumbledown-shed/article31554280.ece

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