CHENNAI: With cinema and pop culture portraying them either as ruthless enforcers of violent justice or being ‘corrupt to the core’, the softer side of policemen and women – as people who care for the society and its wellbeing – often goes unnoticed. This story is about one such cop – Mariyam Pushpa Mary – who opened up her home to an elderly woman who had nowhere to go.
Dhanalakshmi (65) came to the city from Kumbakonam eight months ago. Her son and daughter-in-law had died of jaundice five years ago. With the responsibility of raising her grandson falling on her shoulders, she decided to find a job in Chennai. She managed to join a men’s hostel in Poonamallee as a cook, for a monthly salary of `6,000.
When the hostel was shut due to the lockdown, Dhanalakshmi did not know where to go. She managed to get to Koyambedu bus stand, only to find out that buses weren’t plying anymore. Clueless, she spent two days in and around the Koyambedu market, sleeping at the market premises and eating whatever the volunteers were distributing there.
Her husband was back in Kumbakonam. He could not come here and help her, so he arranged for her stay at a relative’s place in Adyar. She stayed there for 15 days, until the virus threat became serious and then they asked her to leave. With no place to go or money in hand, Dhanalakshmi decided to make the Adyar bus depot her home. She stayed there, day and night.
Four days ago, constable Mary was on patrol when she saw the elderly woman sitting at the depot. Dhanalakshmi told Mary her entire life story, and the policewoman did not feel like leaving her all alone in the bus depot. She called her husband and discussed the matter. A few minutes later Mary welcomed Dhanalakshmi home, to come stay with them.Dhanalakshmi now feels at home, in every sense.
Four days ago, constable Mary was on patrol when she saw the elderly woman sitting at the depot. Dhanalakshmi told Mary her entire life story, and the policewoman welcomed to come stay at her house