IDUKKI: The latest instance of the brutal assault on a seven-year-old child at Kumaramangalam near Thodupuzha is a chilling reminder of Shafeeq, who was burnt, beaten with iron rods and left on the verge of death six years ago. The assault had shaken Kerala’s consciousness then, six years on yet another child is battling for life.
Ragini, the caretaker of Shafeeq, the 10-year-old victim of parental assault in Idukki, recollects the brutality of his biological father and step mother on Shafeeq six years ago. “He hasn’t recovered fully yet and suffers due to hormonal imbalance and immunodeficiency issues caused due to the severe external and internal injuries he sustained.” Shafeeq, a native of Kumily, was admitted to the Al-Azhar Super Specialty hospital in a serious condition in July 2013 with a damaged brain and wounds all over the body. He was subjected to unimaginable physical torture by his father Shereef and step mother Aneesha. The doctors had little hope.
However, with support from well wishers, the Al-Azhar hospital management has been providing treatment and accommodation to the boy. The management also admitted him to a school run by them. He is now a class two student at the school. However, due to health issues Shafeeq can spend a maximum of two hours in the class. The rest of the academic portions are being taken by specially trained teachers from the school, who come and take classes at the place where Ragini and Shafeeq stay.
“It’s painful that like my ‘Vavachi’ (Shafeeq’s pet name), many children are increasingly becoming victims nowadays”, says Ragini. “The accused will easily come out untangling the legal snarls today or the day after. But these innocent children will have to bear the brunt of the brutality inflicted upon them,” she resigns.
“I don’t like anyone calling me as Shafeeq’s care taker, I am his mother and he is my son,” Ragini said. “I decided to spend the rest of my life with my son, on the realization that if nobody comes forward for his support, he will live no longer. If the biological parents really considered these children as part of their life, this ill fate to the children would not have happened. People have become selfish nowadays and are more concerned about their self pleasure,” says Ragini, who has a father, mother, and a brother to take care off. She also has three sisters who are married.
She believes strong legal action should be taken against such culprits to act as a deterrent. “However, it is shameful that even after the recommendations of the Shafeeq Committee Report, nothing beneficial for the future generation has emerged and many still continue to sacrifice their life to the brutality of others,” she said.