For this Kerala woman, there are no 'blind' sides
This fighter from Mookkannoor is now the state vice-president of the National Federation of the Blind
KOCHI: The life of Saly KP, 58, a blind woman from Ernakulam is quite inspiring. When her husband suffered a stroke and went into a coma, she was forced to take care of her entire family, which includes two daughters. But fate didn’t stop with its cruelty there. Soon, Saly became partially blind, and eventually, she lost her eyesight completely. But she didn’t flinch or give up. She started indulging in palliative care and caring for those in need, free of cost. The state vice-president of National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is still ready to offer help to anyone who needs it.
After love marriage, Saly shifted to Mookkannoor when she was 18. Her husband Sasi PV was paralysed 12 years later and has been paralysed for 27 years now. Saly, apart from all the work she does outside the household, cleans and feeds him. Gradually, neighbours who saw how well she cared for her husband asked for her help to care for other paralysed patients.
In no time, Saly became a saviour for many. She started giving free palliative care services to the bedridden people in the area, despite being partially blind. Soon, she became an ASHA worker, but 10 years ago, when she became totally blind, she had to give it up. She is also an active Kudumbashree unit member. She also sells lottery tickets to make both ends meet. Her problem with her eyesight started in 2007, causing total blindness in 2012. Asianet cable network offered her a job as a collection agent then, considering her condition.
Saly is haunted by the fact that she couldn’t educate both her daughter. “They were only 12 and nine when my husband became bedridden. I used to earn daily wages for work during the day and did tailoring during the night to raise them. But I couldn’t help them study past high school. Both of them are now married and settled, but this thought still bothers me,” Saly said.
In 2019, their neighbours and friends helped Saly and Sasi celebrate Sasi’s 60th birthday and their 37th wedding anniversary lavishly. “I lifted him and placed him in a chair. His sister helped him tie a mangalsutra around my neck. Around 200 people, including Kudumbashree workers who supported us, made the event a huge success. We could not marry traditionally when we eloped,” Saly said.
Seeing Saly’s hard work and her peculiar success story, Harikrishnan, the owner of an Asianet cable branch network in Thiruvananthapuram, constructed a house for her in Mookkannoor. As a mark of respect for him, Saly named the house after Hari’s daughter Gayathri, Gayathri Nilayam.