Society

Indian Woman Ties Disabled Grandson To Bus Stop While She Works

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A 9-year-old disabled boy in India, who suffers from epilepsy and cerebral palsy, is reportedly tied to a bus stop each day while his grandmother works.

After Lakhan Kale -- who is deaf and cannot speak -- was photographed by a local newspaper lying on a sidewalk with his ankle tied to a bus stop by a cloth rope, government officials took him away and put him in a state-run institution.

“What else can I do?” his grandmother, Sakhubai Kale, told the AFP. “He can't talk, so how will he tell anyone if he gets lost?”

The family lives near the bus stop and his sister sells flower garlands and toys on the street.

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Kale said she also fastened the boy’s ankle to her own when they went to bed at night because he has a tendency to wander off and she worries he'll end up in traffic.

“I am a single old woman. Nobody paid attention to me until the newspaper report," she said. "He was in a special school, but they sent him back."

She says she’s happy the government stepped in.

“I am very happy,” she said. “What else would I want other than for him to be looked after?”

"Residental homes are very, very few," social worker Meen Mutha told the AFP. "There's a major need for the government to do something, a social responsibility to provide residential centers for children like Lakhan."

Mutha said privately run facilities for the disabled and mentally ill "have expertise, but not the space," but government-run facilities "don't have the infrastructure, the staff."

A bill proposed in February would give disabled Indians equal rights, including access to education and care, but it has yet to pass.

Sources: AFP, New York Daily News