Kollam: For 38-year-old civil police officer Binu Benedict, it was the dawn of a new beginning. To be able to resume duty in a supernumerary post was a reality a man paralyzed for life could ever dream of. Perhaps it was also the first time a person had marked “present” for duty with his big toe.
On Thursday, when he “signed” the register at the AR Camp in Kollam, accepting a job that was created especially for him, he had a whole lot of noble souls to thank, even while going back to a black day in December 2014 which changed his life overnight.
Binu, hailing from Kizhakke Kallada, was posted in the AR Camp in Kozhikode city. On a Christmas Eve in 2014, he was motoring down to the local church when he was brutally attacked by the sand mafia. They pulled him off his bike, mercilessly attacked him with deadly weapons, and hurled him into a mud-pit 35 feet down the road, leaving him for dead. A deadly wound to his spine left him paralyzed neck down. A body once throbbing with life was stilled into life-long paralysis, but it could not beat the man’s spirit.
From then on began a lifetime’s tryst with medical treatment. The body remained lifeless even after getting treatment from various hospitals. Though he was still in service, his long absence from duty meant a job sans salary. His wife Sajitha had to quit her job in a local school as Binu needed help for all his needs. The only income the family had was the little his mother got from her widow’s pension. Almost four years later he got a medical reimbursement of Rs 1.3 lakh. By then several lakhs of rupees had been spent on his treatment. A shower of relief came in the form of Rs 5 lakh granted by the UDF government.
All through his ordeal, Binu refused to be cowed down. Eventually, help came from the Police Association. A never-say-die spirit egged him on to think he would rejoin duty. A turning point came when social worker Stephen G. Puthezhathu stepped in to help. The government decided to create a supernumerary post for him with all benefits. The LDF government took quick action in implementing all decisions and he was posted to the AR Camp in Kollam.
When the register was brought to him, it was his wife who held his lifeless toe to help him mark its impression even as his mother looked on, watching her son’s battle with a twisted fate bearing fruit.
Binu Benedict has one more wish, however….to be able to stand straight, chin up, and give a big salute to all those who helped him. Only then would he be able to avenge the sand mafia. But the big question is…where will he get such specialized treatment from? And who will fund it all? Binu Benedict can be reached on 95267 46339.