For these 48 senior citizens staying at the Madurai Corporation’s night shelter, the announcement of Lok Sabha polls has come as a nightmare. They are virtually spending sleepless nights after being told to vacate the place to set up a polling booth.
Unsympathetic of the plight of the destitute elders, the Corporation officials issued the order to the 48 elders to vacate the place before April 22.
“The corporation officials visited the home three days back and examined the place. Later, they asked us to find an alternative accommodation for four days from April 22,” an inmate said.
The Corporation had opened the night shelter home in 2010, based on the direction of the Supreme Court, and it is run by the Madurai Jesuits Downtrodden People Welfare Trust.
Though the elders pleaded with the officials saying families have deserted them and they have no place to go, the officials insisted them to find their own accommodation.
“They don’t even try to understand the mental and physical agony we are going through after our children abandoned us. Here, we have found another family and we support each other,” said Ramamurthy (63), an inmate.
Recollecting the terrifying experience they underwent when the officials vacated them during the last election, he said, ”Most of us stayed on the streets and begged for three days to fill our stomach. But there were several ailing elders who went without food on these days as they didn’t have the strength to even beg.”
The caretaker of the shelter submitted a petition to District Election Officer on Saturday requesting him to find alternative place for setting up polling booths. Collector N Subramanian said he would look into the issue.