MANGALORE: When the order on resuming the disability pension for mentally-challenged Sumati (35) reached their hands, relief was visible on the faces of her elderly parents.
When the pension was stopped 15 months ago, the parents were distraught as the monthly pension of Rs 400 partly took care of the cost of medicines.
In February 2011, the revenue inspector in his report to the Mangalore tahsildar (IR 52/10-11) had recommended that Sumati’s pension be increased from Rs 400 to Rs 1,000 as her disability was more than 75 per cent.
The parents believed that their prayers for some financial help had finally been answered. However, when there was no sign of either Rs 400 and Rs 1,000, Sumati’s mother Mohini was distraught. Mohini’s brother-in-law Gopal, himself a physically challenged, had run from pillar to post making enquiries about why the pension was not being released.
Wherever Gopal went, he was greeted with a sneer and officials refused to respond to his grievance claiming that they had better things to do. Adding to their problems, Sumati had to be hospitalised for a month at a private hospital for a skull injury she sustained when a heavy coconut from their neighbour’s tree came crashing through the roof into the toilet in December.
No sooner was the unfortunate plight of the family published in these columns in March, then the police responded. Kavoor Police Station sub-inspector Siddappa, under the directions of Mangalore Commissioner of Police Seemant Kumar Singh, visited the spot and realising that the coconut tree posed a threat to the life of mentally challenged Sumati, had it chopped down despite stiff resistance from the owners.
Moved by the agonising plight of the family, Bondel Friends Club donated over `10,000 to the family to clear some of their loans.
Forums on behalf of the family decided to write to Disability Commissioner Rajanna to draw his attention to her pension which was not released in 2011.