Kollam: Woman locked up for 20 years in a room, rescued

Kollam: A 46-year-old woman, who was locked up in a room by her relatives for the last two decades at Valathunkal here, was rescued by the Women’s Commission on Sunday.

Latha of Kaviriyantarikath, who is said to be mentally-ill, was abandoned by her husband when she was 26. She was living in a room built with cement bricks near the house of her sister Maheswari.

 Her sister used to give her food through the window once in a day and kept the door always locked. Women’s Commission member Shahida Kamal, who saw her plight, sought the help of Eravipuram police, who broke open the door and rescued her on Sunday night. She was later shifted to Gandhibhavan, a care home at Pathanapuram.

“When I looked through the window, I saw a skeleton-like figure. The tiny room was filled with mud and filth, and the woman sat in a pit in the middle. She was never taken out even for her basic needs,” Shahida Kamal told DC.

“It appears she was not permitted to take bath for years,” Shahida added. The commission has registered a suo motu case against the relatives. Maheswari said Latha was under treatment for mental illness and was locked up for preventing her from escaping from the room.

Latha is one of the seven children of Chinnayyan Chettiyar and Rajamma, who are no more. She had also studied till Pre-Degree in S.N. College, Kollam. She has a 22-year-old son who lives withMaheswari and is working in a shop atPolayathodu here. Health Minister K.K. Shylaja said the government would meet the expense for Latha’s treatment.

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