Unable to feed her six children aged below 10, a destitute mother in Kerala on Monday consigned four of them to the care of the state council for child welfare.
This in a state that has a wide network of social security missions and a slew of grassroots-level poverty alleviation schemes. Only 7.5 per cent of the state’s population is under the poverty line as compared to the all-India average of 21.92 per cent, according to RBI report of 2013.
S P Deepak, general secretary of Kerala State Council for Child Welfare, said “The state child welfare committee got a call on Sunday about a woman with six children living under a tarpaulin sheet in Thiruvananthapuram.”
Deepak said volunteers saw the seven-year-old eldest child eating dirt. All the children were rescued. Since the two youngest have to be fed by the mother, they were left with her with food supplements and other provisions.
Deepak said the woman’s husband is alcoholic and abuses her, and local people informed the child welfare committee about this. “Domestic violence is a severe issue in Kerala across the spectrum of society,” he said.
Thiruvananthapuram city Mayor K Sreekumar, who visited the children and their mother, said the government would give them protection and care. “The mother will be given a temporary job at the municipal corporation. They will get a house under the state government’s life mission scheme. The child welfare committee will look after the children’s education until the age of 18,” he said.