//Sometimes 70-year-olds too are abandoned

Sometimes 70-year-olds too are abandoned

HYDERABAD: Seventy years of age, Lakshmamma was begging at Masab Tank when she was spotted by the district collectorate van touring the city under the project to rehabilitate city beggars. She was not alone. Her cousin Lakshma Nayak, aged 73, was with her too.

Both had migrated to the city with their families from Anantapur district in search of work. But on reaching here, their sons left them to fend for themselves.

And it is not hunger that brings tears to Lakshmamma’s eyes, it is betrayal by her son that she cannot stomach. "How could he desert me," she asks. It has been three days since she saw her son and even as she squats helpless at an old age home in Kukatpally where she has been shifted, she keeps asking the social workers to inform her son at Masab Tank about her whereabouts.

"They are helpless since there is no contact with their children," explains R. Chandra Mohan, Social Worker from Hyderabad Council of Human Welfare (HCHW), the NGO working with the District Collectorate since August on this project. At the old age home run by Jyothi Welfare Association, Lakshmamma joined 12 others. "While I had to get up everyday to beg at 5 a.m., I get food here without venturing out," says Jagadamba, 65, who took to the streets two years ago.

http://www.hindu.com/2006/02/20/stories/2006022017130400.htm