THANJAVUR: A 32-year-old woman with psychological issues and found living on the streets when lockdown was enforced has been reunited with her family after two years. The reunion took place thanks to the efforts of the Corporation and the Renwal Foundation NGO.
Corporation officials with the help of the NGO and police rescued around 125 destitute persons living on the streets in the city after the lockdown was introduced. After being rescued, they were housed in the Rajah Serfoji Government Arts College auditorium. Many of them received haircuts and provided facilities to bathe. Food was arranged for them with the help of sponsors. "Of those rescued, a 32-year-old woman found near Karanthai was very aggressive,"
said M Rajasekaran, assistant executive engineer of the Corporation and nodal officer of the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM). She was looked after well and received counselling for her psychological issues. As her condition improved, a week ago, she recalled the name of her village. She also spoke about her husband, son and daughter.
Officials verified her statements by visiting the village near Needamangalam in Tiruvarur district. On Thursday, they along NGO volunteers took her in a vehicle after getting an e-pass and dropped her off at her house. "Her 16-year-old son who is appearing for SSLC and 11-year-old daughter - a Class 6 student - and her husband were happy with the reunion," said Rajasekaran.
He said of the 85 persons still in the shelter, 16 have psychological issues. After the lockdown is lifted, they would be produced before the appropriate authorities then handed over to a home for mentally-ill destitute persons in Thanjavur. Some in the shelters are even cooking their own food, as they show signs of recovery. Films are screened every evening for their entertainment, officials said.
"We have already dropped off 17 persons from the shelter who wanted to go back home," Rajasekaran said. Once the lockdown is over, there are plans to house the remaining persons in a community hall on Chelliammankoil Street in Karanthai, owned by the Corporation. "We are also sending a proposal for building another shelter for the urban homeless," Rajasekaran said. A shelter is currently functioning in the Manambuchavadi area. Besides, the shelter for attenders of inpatients at Thanjavur Medical College Hospital built under NULM is ready for opening, officials said.