Vol. XLI No. 26 June 25, 2017

Kids of Kannur Help UP Mother as Yogi Adityanath Govt Fails to Act

N S Sajith

IT was a distressing news report -- Aarti Sharma, a woman from Agra in Uttar Pradesh, offered to sell her kidney to bear educational expenses of her three daughters and a son. And no one in her state came out to help her, despite her meeting Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The district administration refused to offer any help to Aarti and her children in their hour of need. She had to sell their LPG cylinder in the black market to travel to Lucknow to meet the chief minister. Though the chief minister met the family on April 29 and assured help, no assistance has been received till date.

 What compounded her family’s distress was that her husband had to wind up his readymade garment business after demonetisation. After the collapse of his business, Aarti’s husband Manoj Sharma earned a meagre Rs 5,000 per month by driving taxi.

Aarti, who lives with her eight-member family on a rented accommodation of 330 square feet in Eco Colony in Agra, posted a handwritten letter on Facebook, seeking help so that her children could continue education. As she announced her decision to sell a kidney, some news channels carried her story. Deshabhimani also carried the news. Soon after, children of Thaliparamba in Kannur responded to the call of their legislator James Mathew to assist the unknown mother. The MLA announced that the people of Thaliparamba was ready to offer free education to Aarti’s four children in any school in Kerala in any syllabus they want to pursue. If they have any inconvenience to come to Kerala, money will be provided to them. He also requested her to withdraw the decision to sell a kidney.

Under the guidance of Mathew, school children in the constituency collected money through charity boxes put in their schools. In a function held in Karinkayam LP School, students and teachers of all other schools in the constituency handed the money collected through charity boxes to Mathew. Niranjana, a well-known child artist, came to the stage and presented her golden earrings to this noble cause. She said that she was happy to give her earrings to this cause and was glad to be part of this mission to help three sisters and one brother in Agra. The total amount collected was Rs 2,03,651.

This event occurred when BJP leaders kept on campaigning about the so-called “Communist terror” in Kannur district.

Mathew has contacted Madhu Garg, an AIDWA leader in Uttar Pradesh, to hand over the money to Aarti. A function will be held in Agra soon to hand over the money to her.