THRISSUR: “We’ve been in love for long and finally it’s happening,” said 65-year-old Lakshmi Ammal as she is getting ready to marry Kochaniyan, 66. The wedding, to be held on December 30, will be the first to be organised by a government old-age home in the state.
It’s a 20-year relationship that will culminate in wedding, that too when the two spend their days at the old-age home with no one else to look after. A native of Thaikkattussery in Thrissur, Ammal had lost her husband 21 years ago. It was Kochaniyan, a native of Irinjalakkuda, who took care of her after that. Kochaniyan had worked as an assistant to Ammal’s husband as a caterer. In his death bed, he told him to take care of Ammal.
Kochaniyan used to roam around as part of his job and he fell unconscious at a street in Kozhikode due to fits. An NGO put him in an old age home in Wayanad. Two months ago he was shifted to the old-age home at Ramavarmapuram where Ammal has been living for the past 11 months.
Old-age home plans to make wedding grand
Kochaniyan is tired due to fatigue and old age, yet his eyes gleamed when he was asked about his wedding."We’re happy that everyone is joining us to make our wish a reality,” he said. It was the old age home’s superintendent V G Jayakumar, who after coming to know about the relationship between Ammal and Kochaniyan from other inmates, took the initiative to arrange their wedding.
Jayakumar shared their story of love with John Daniel, the UDF councillor and the corporation’s welfare standing committee chairman, who assured to do whatever he can to organise their wedding.“Though we gave them the word to organise the wedding, there were doubts whether it was legally allowed in an old age home. But Jayakumar came up with the minutes of a meeting held in the presence of superintendents of all old age homes in the state where a decision was taken to encourage such weddings between inmates of the centre,” said John.
Jayakumar said the wedding would be a memorable function. “Many of the inmates of old age homes may have someone to care for or visit them at least monthly or yearly. But for some, they are all alone with no one to care for other than their friends in the old age home. Such unions will help them remain happy for the rest of their lives,” he said.