Puri: God cannot be everywhere, therefore he created mothers, and mothers are wonder human beings. They can go to any extent to shield, feed and raise their children.
This is a story of an economically deprived woman Mandi Rout of Parbatipur in Paika Sahi of the Pilgrim Town who sells Lord Jagannath’s ‘Nirmalya’ (dried rice Mahaprasad) to maintain a family of two – herself, and son Ramchandra.
Mandi’s son has been suffering from a mental illness from the past 22 years. When she goes to work, Ramchandra is locked with a chain in their deserted and dark house.
Chaining someone indoors for 22 yeras; It might sound cruel and inhuman, but a mother has no option. The mental condition of son Ramchandra has forced her to lock him up when she is out at the Bada Danda (Puri Jagannath Temple’s Grand Road) to sell the ‘Nirmalya’
“My husband deserted me long back, there is no one to help. I am the sole bread-earner for both of us,” she said. “My son is mentally challenged. I love him and do not want to lose him. I am forced to lock him indoors while going to work,” said Mandi.
A local social worker Umakant Dalei said, the mother-son duo have been denied any help from local representatives. “While the boy is mentally unstable the mother’s medical condition is no good. She has a back problem and faces difficult while walking. The two are in dire need of Government assistance,” Dalei added.
The ordeal of Mandi and her son is a testimony to ‘struggle for survival’. A little intervention by local administration, help from public representatives and the public can surely make life a bit easier for the mother-son duo.