Three poor women fight all odds to help fellow being
By V NarayanaMurthi | Published: 18th November 2012 09:36 AM |
For Gowthami (35), a mentally-challenged woman, wandering about the streets unclad, injuring self and others, often getting abused and exploited by the passersby was routine until three women, all in their early thirties and road side maize vendors, came to her rescue.
The trio fought against all odds to get her admitted to the Government Hospital here.
Nandini, Lakshmi and Indira who saw Gowthami go uncared for by the people and officials concerned, took the onus on themselves of getting her care by petitioning collector, SP, DIG and the Health Minister Dr Vijay over a period of three weeks.
Gowthami lived near Nandini’s place at Thottapalayam with her mother, who is in her eighties. “I simply could not bring myself to accept the fact that Gowthami was being harassed by people,” says Nandini, adding that her colleagues Lakshmi and Indira were kind enough to support her in her mission.
The women, who themselves are not well-off, had to forego their daily earnings of about `100 per day for over three weeks. Nandini and Lakshmi were deserted by their husbands and now raise three children each with their meager income while Indira is a widow.
“We knew it was an unequal fight but we were prepared for it and had plans of organising agitations in case the response was not proper,” Nandini said.
The trio had to repeatedly visit the police stations and SP office to get the matter noticed and then to get the papers moving. And owing to their untiring efforts, last week, the police lodged an FIR in this regard and produced Gowthami before the court which directed the police to admit her to the Vellore Government Medical College Hospital for observation.
When the psychiatrists there certify her to be suffering from mental illness and recommend her for hospitalisation, the court would issue a reception order based on which she would be shifted to a mental hospital in Chennai.
Social activist R Chandrasekaran who has been involved in rescuing several mentally-ill persons for rehabilitation for over a decade here urged the administration to ease norms for rescue and rehabilitation of mentally ill persons. According to him a control room could be set up to receive information about unattended mentally-challenged persons.