Kerala HRLN provides medical aid to infirm, old Adivasi woman, files petition to improve quality of life

An elderly adivadi woman from the Paniya community had been suffering from cancerous growth in her mouth. She lived with her husband Gopalan who is also old and infirm. The 79-year-old lived in the hilly Govindanppara colony which is quite far from any road access. The area lacks in basic facilities such water supply for drinking or preparing food. Residents of the colony are thus forced to go down the hill to fetch water – a situation that proves to be extremely sick for sick residents. Even though the tribal department was visiting the woman’s house with supplies of food and medicines, her condition did not improve much because tribals in the area are very wary of taking allopathic medication. The usual available remedy for such ill and old people is to leave them in a shelter or old age home, where they languish because of neglect. However, due to HRLN intervention, she was admitted to a hospital, and was taken there by members of the health department. HRLN members also observed that several other members of the community were also very ill, and so they approached the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) and HRLN advocates Ferha and Maria have filed a court petition to rehabilitate old and needy people to old age homes, and to provide members of the adivasi community land and houses to improve their quality of life.