When Express met Usha at her house in Ramapuram near Vettamukku, she was lying in bed, lost in thought. She could hardly walk. There was a swelling on the left leg, a fracture of which needed the insertion of a steel rod. Usha managed to sit on a chair. A newly-framed picture of her mother hung on the wall.
Usha’s mother died 22 days ago. Her mother had been bedridden since 1996 after the mysterious death of her elder brother Mohanan. The sole breadwinner of the house, Usha worked as a sweeper in several hospitals, including Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology, till six months ago, when her leg was fractured in an attack.
Usha’s leg was brutally attacked using a spade in the midst of a brawl between her neighbour and a local goon. “There was no rivalry between us. He attacked me when I tried to save my mother,” says 35-year-old Usha. Usha could hardly control her tears when she explained her trauma. “Now, my mother has gone. There is no one to support me,” she says.
Against the doctor’s instruction, she went for work some months ago. However, she fell, breaking her leg again. “I slipped in the hospital bathroom. It made the condition of the leg worse. But, how long can I live without a job?” she asks.
She lost her ancestral property as well as relatives’ support in a property dispute. “Conducting that case, I also lost the 12 sovereigns of gold that I had bought using my earnings. Though I won the case, I gave a major share to my ‘Kunjamma’. Now, I neither have their support nor any savings,” Usha says.
Around 15 years ago, the body of Mohanan, Usha’s brother, was found hanging in the Military Camp, Pangode. His body carried several bruises. The reason of death still remains a mystery. Usha’s father Gopala Panicker had died in 1988. After losing her mother, Usha is leading a lonely life.
How does she manage her daily chores? “I somehow cook the rice. My neighbour some times gives some curry,” she says. Some neighbours lent her money to meet the treatment expenses. “The treatment cost came to Rs 30,000,” Usha says.
She is now undergoing treatment at Medical College Hospital. Those who wish to support Usha can contact her neighbour Sreekumar at 9446559719. Her address is Kodavankuzhi Panayil Veedu, Athiyannoor, Aralumoodu PO, Ramapuram.