This couple gave up property worth millions to ensure their mentally challenged child is taken care of after they are gone

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  • An aged couple from the southern state of Kerala is giving up their own property for the creation of a centre for challenged women.
  • The house, worth around ₹30 million, will be converted into a facility that will provide a safe haven for around 50 mentally challenged women.
  • The couple has also willed their remaining property — two houses worth approximately ₹40 million — to the government for the creation of a rehabilitation centre for the intellectually challenged.

It’s true, parents never cease to worry about their children. Particularly in India, this anxiety is multiplied when the child is mentally/physically challenged. And while it is certainly no secret that the country’s basic healthcare system is lacking, its mental healthcare facilities are unsurprisingly much worse.

But while most parents wait for the government to up the ante and provide proper facilities for the challenged, an aged couple from the southern state of Kerala decided to take matters in their own hands, giving up their own property for the creation of a centre for challenged women, and reserving one seat for their own intellectually challenged daughter.

To ensure Priya, the 37-year-old daughter of retired school teachers N Kamalasan and C K Sarojini, will be looked after when they pass on, the couple reached out to the Kerala Social Welfare Department to take their two-storeyed house and convert it to a facility not only for their own child but for many more. The house, worth around ₹30 million in Kayila village in Kollam district, will be converted into a facility that will provide a safe haven for around 50 mentally challenged women. The facility will also be named Priya Home for Mentally Challenged Women after their daughter.

Priya’s father, Kamalasan told the Indian Express, “If she is handed over to the custody of relatives, there is no guarantee that they will look after her. We have several instances of mentally challenged persons being killed by relatives to seize the property left behind by their parents.’’

The couple has also willed their remaining property — two houses worth approximately ₹40 million in the coastal city of Kozhikode — to the government for the creation of a rehabilitation centre for the intellectually challenged.

Upon receiving an assurance from the Social Welfare Department that their daughter will be looked after, the couple no longer has to worry about her future.

According to a survey conducted by the Kerala Social Security Mission in 2015, 2.21% of the state’s population is either physically or mentally challenged. Perhaps instances like this one like this will set precedence for others to consider a similar route.

(Representative image.)
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