Mother dies by suicide, father in jail, Kerala 12-year-old left alone

As no family member came to take custody of the boy, the Child Welfare Committee has taken over protection of the 12-year-old.
Boy with his parents
Boy with his parents
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In a tragic incident, a 12-year-old boy was left without any family to take care of him after his mother died by suicide following the arrest of his father in a chain-snatching case. The boy was living with his parents, Kuvarakkuvaila Saju (42) and Bindu (40), in a rented house at Alady near Kattappana in Kerala’s Idukki district for the last three months. According to Ponkunnam police, Saju was arrested on Sunday for snatching a two-sovereign gold chain from a woman at Kanjirappaly earlier that day. On Tuesday, the police brought Saju home to collect evidence. After the police left, Bindu reportedly locked herself in a room and died by suicide.

Speaking to TNM, Kattappana Childline officer Printo Mathew said, “When the police brought Saju home to collect evidence, Bindu and their son were there. After the police left, she told her son to watch television, saying that she was going to sleep. A long time after when she didn’t open the door, the boy informed the neighbour’s family. When the neighbours opened the door, they noticed that the woman had taken her own life inside the room. They immediately informed the Upputhara police. The neighbours didn’t tell the boy about the suicide and allowed him to stay at their home.”

The police informed Childline that the boy was alone after the death of the mother, after which Childline authorities took over protection of the boy.

Ponkunnam Circle Inspector Rajiv M told TNM, “The couple Saju and Bindu hailed from Parasala in Thiruvananthapuram. After falling in love and getting married, they left the place. They lived in Elappara for several years before shifting to Alady three months ago. After their marriage, the couple was not in contact with any of their relatives. No family member has come to take custody of the boy. We have received information that there are other cases against Saju in Thiruvananthapuram.”

“It’s really sad that the boy has been left all alone after the tragic death of his mother. An NRI businessman named Koshi Samuel from Venmony in Thiruvalla has expressed willingness to take over the boy’s education expenses. Saju was remanded by the court. He was allowed to attend his wife’s funeral on Thursday and sent to jail after that,” the inspector said.

Child Welfare Committee (CWC) officials told TNM that for now it has been decided that even if the father gets bail, they will not immediately send the child with him. The father, according to the CWC, does not have a job and the child was primarily being taken care of by the mother. Since the father is unemployed, it’s also unclear if he can provide for the child. The couple have reportedly not maintained ties with their families for many years.

Idukki CWC Chairman Joseph Augustine told TNM, “The CWC has taken over protection of the boy. He has been shifted to the Snehamandiram boys’ home at Murikkasery. CWC has asked for a report from the District Child Protection Officer about the child. After we get the report, we will take further steps.”

Augustine added, “Presently none of the relatives have approached us to take over custody of the boy. In the future if we get an application from relatives, the CWC will inspect the issue and decide on further action.”

“It was difficult to inform the boy about his mother. We’ll continue to give him counselling and special care in the coming days,” Printo said.

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.   

Tamil Nadu
State health department’s suicide helpline: 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre – 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh
Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930
Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584

Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222

Maithri: 0484 2540530
Chaithram: 0484 2361161
Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.

State government’s suicide prevention (tollfree): 104
Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200

SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm)

Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.

24x7 Helpline: 9820466726 

Click here for working helplines across India.

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