PALAKKAD: Only Pratheesh and Sharmila knew the sort of pain they felt while sending their five children to orphanage, but when they got back home after public intervention, mostly through social media, the poverty-stricken parents must have found the joy equally inexplicable.The parents, from Kannadi panchayat, had put the children, all under 11 years and three of them girls, in an orphanage at Edathanattukara on September 21 with the help of ward (No.14) member Vineesh.
However, after many people cried foul on the social media citing the orphanage belonged to a different religion and the move was driven by vested interest, the children were produced before the District Child Welfare Committee here on Wednesday and sent back home.Various organisations came forward offering help, including for education, while local people, who spoke to reporters, admitted they needed help even though they felt there was no need to send them to the orphanage. Vineesh said the parents’ condition prompted him to make such a move.
“Their father was working in a toddy shop, but he hasn’t been going there for many months. Their mother wasn’t in good health. We checked with the Social Justice Department and since all children had to be lodged in one place, this was the only orphanage in the district where both boys and girls were kept. Therefore, we decided to send them there,” said Vineesh.
Kannadi panchayat president K A Venugopal said the local governing body would extend all help to the family.“The family has been living in a thatched hut, that too in the land of another person. The MLA has now agreed to provide them with a rented house. They’ll be the first beneficiary of the LIFE Mission Housing Scheme which will ensure them a home of their own,” said Venugopal.
Fr Jose Paul, chairman, Child Welfare Committee, told Express steps were taken to protect the children.
“We asked the children to remain in the government children’s home in Muttikulangara till the house gets ready, but they wanted to go with their parents. We’ll make sure they don’t suffer any more.
The members of the Kannadi panchayat and standing committee chairman were present to discuss their problems. The MP and MLA also have intervened in the matter. The District Child Protection Officer has agreed to pay `2,000 per month towards their expenses,” said Fr Jose.