THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At first sight itself, you feel something is amiss about this old woman on the footpath who holds out her hand timidly. She’s neatly turned out and approaches you rather hesitantly.
Savithri, 69, chose to beg on the streets as a last resort to look after her paraplegic son. Hailing from Pothupara near Vembayam here, Savithri lives with her son Anil Kumar, 43, who lost mobility of his left leg and left hand following a horrific bike crash in January 2016. His estranged wife lives with the couple’s three children at her house. The divorce case is going on.
“I’m too old to work and earn money to look after my son. He can barely walk, that too only with the aid of a walker. A fairly large amount is needed to meet the cost of treatment and run the family,” she says.
Anil Kumar does not know that his mother is seeking alms on the street to support the family. “He will never allow this. I’ve told him that I’m employed as a part-time domestic help in the city,” she said.
Savithri, her husband, the late Prabhakaran Nair and Anil Kumar are all hotel cooks by training. She stopped working several years ago following joint pain caused by arthritis.
“Ours was a happy family until differences of opinion cropped up between my son and his wife sometime back in 2014. She then left our house and moved in with her parents. Two years later, tragedy struck again, in the form of the accident,” she says, trying to fight back tears.
Anil Kumar has not met his wife and children after the accident.
“Both of us rang her up numerous times. But she’s bent on terminating the relationship. But my son doesn’t want it,” she said. Doctors have recommended expensive surgery for Anil and Savithri is looking for financial support from kind-hearted people.