Homeless mother, son spend nights in trains and platforms

Kamalnath (L) Rajalakshmi waiting at a park in kochi before they set off to a railway station. Photo: Josekutty Panackal/Manorama

Kochi: As night descends on the city Rajalakshmi and her son take general compartment tickets and board a train to catch some sleep. When they do not have money for train tickets, they take shelter at platforms.

This is the plight of S Rajalakshmi and her son Kamalnath, natives of Thevara in Kerala's Ernakulam district, who keep wandering in public places as they do not have a roof over their heads. Despite being educated, the mother and son are not able to find a job either.

Their ordeal began on June 24, when the money they procured to give as advance amount for a rented house was stolen during a bus journey. They had boarded the vehicle from Menaka bus stop in the city to Kakkanad. The Rs 35,000, borrowed from a close relative, was kept in Rajalakshmi's purse. Rajalakshmi, who was suffering from fever, slept off on the bus. When she woke up, the purse was empty.

Rajalakshmi recollected that a woman passenger, who was seated next to her, had warned her of robbery on the bus. Rajalakshmi even remembered her face.

Though Rajalakshmi filed a complaint with the central police station, the FIR was registered only a week later. Rajalaskhmi could identify the woman from a number of photos of listed criminals showed by the police.

The police informed her that the woman was an accused in a jewellery theft case. But no further probe into Rajalakshmi's case was made.

Unable to take another house on rent, Rajalakshmi sought some more time from her current landlord. But the mother and the son were thrown out of the house along with their belongings.

Several of her home appliances and articles were damaged during the floods last year.

Kamalnath is a graduate in Mass Communication and Journalism and Rajalakshmi has obtained training to teach differently-abled children.

Those who listen to their plight, are left wondering as to why the educated people are unable to earn a living? Kamalnath says that though some private companies offered him jobs, he lost the opportunities as he was unable to furnish documents that proved his place of residence.