K Sreedharan Nair too has sought asylum in Gandhi Bhavan, here like numerous other sick and impoverished elderly inmates. But what makes other inmates of the Gandhi Bhavan respect the 90-year-old is that he is a freedom fighter.
The Vaikom Satygraha veteran, who was honoured with Copper Plate in 1972 by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was lodged at the Gandhi Bhavan by his children, after they found it hard to take care of him due to poverty and physical ailments.
Sreedharan Nair’s mental state is not stable after a motor accident which occurred recently. Sreedharan Nair, a widower for the past 20 years, brought up his children using the freedom fighter’s pension and the income he earned by doing menial jobs.
At his old age,none of his four children has the financial ability to take care of him. He was born in Champakulam in Alappuzha district and after spending some years in Aluva, the family settled at Nedumkandam, Idukki.
Sreedharan Nair was under the care of his youngest son Suresh, who lives in a thatched house in Nedumkandam. Suresh suffers from arthritis and the lone income maker of the family is his wife who works in Anganwadi.
The family can no longer take care of Sreedharan Nair. Lodged in Gandhi Bhavan, Sreedharan Nair is also undergoing treatment at a private mental hospital in Punalur.
The family had approached Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, during his Mass Contact Programme citing the sorry state and requested for a house but said that they did not get a positive reply.