In a heart-breaking incident from Karnataka’s Karwar, a man, who was paralysed after suffering a stroke, sat next to his deceased wife for five days, as he was unable to move and help her. A few days later, he too passed away due to starvation.
Sixty-year-old Anand Kolkar, a resident of KHB Colony in Karwar, was married to Girija (55) for over 20 years. Anand was unable to walk for the last few years. However, he lost his ability to move completely after he suffered a stroke in 2016.
Subramanya, Girija’s brother, says, “I am the only family my sister had. My brother-in-law’s family members rarely visited them. A couple of years after their wedding, my brother-in-law fell sick. My sister was the sole breadwinner. She worked as a domestic help. They did not have any children.”
In 2016, Anand slipped and fell in the bathroom of his house. He suffered major injuries to both his legs.
“The doctors had inserted rods in both his legs because of the fractures. He could not walk after the incident, although he could move his arms and upper body. A few months later, he suffered a stroke and was completely paralysed,” Subramanya said.
On July 11, Subramanya called his sister to check up on her. When she did not pick up, he assumed she was busy. When he called her again the next day, her phone was switched off.
“I kept calling her every day but her phone was constantly switched off. Since there were constant power cuts due to the rain, I initially assumed she did not have the power to charge her phone. But on Saturday, when her phone was switched off, I got worried,” Subramanya said.
On Sunday, Subramanya left his home in Uttara Kannada’s Honnavar and boarded a train to Karwar. He reached his sister’s home around 9.20 a.m. and began knocking on the door. But there was no response.
“I thought she may have gone for work. When I had enquired with the neighbours, they said they had not seen her come out of the house for a few days. I went back and knocked on the back door. This door was also locked and no one was answering. Since the house is small and the roof is covered with asbestos sheets, I climbed up and removed one of the sheets,” he added.
Subramanya was shocked to see Girija and Anand sitting next to each other on two chairs.
“The smell of my sister’s decomposed body was strong. I called the neighbours, who helped me break open the door. When I went in, Girija was dead and Anand was sitting next to her. He was unable to call for help when my sister collapsed on the chair next to him,” Subramanya said.
With the assistance of Naveen, Karwar Assistant Sub Inspector, Anand and Girija were taken to the taluk government hospital.
“The doctors said Girija had a heart attack,” Subramanya said.
Anand was weak as he had not eaten anything or had water for five days. On Monday morning, he breathed his last at the Karwar taluk hospital.
“My brother-in-law was nearly about to collapse when we found him. He was parched. The doctors said that starvation may have caused his death,” he added.