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Friday, September 24, 2010 (12:27:12)
Tags : India News, President Pratibha Patil, Orissa

Penniless widow writes to President for mercy death

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 24: A 45-year-old widow in Orissa has sought permission from President Pratibha Patil to end her life, saying she has no money to feed her three mentally challenged children.

Tanvir Kausar, a resident of Arsala village in Keonjhar district, 235 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, said she has been living in distress since the death of her husband two years ago.

"I am penniless and I cannot see the pain of my children. I want to die. Please grant me permission to commit suicide," the woman wrote to the president. She said she sent the letter by registered post Wednesday.

The woman, who works as a labourer, has two daughters and one son, all below 14 years of age. All three are mentally challenged and one even suffers from polio. The woman says she has to tie the children to a cot when she goes out for work.

Kausar does not have a house of her own and lives with her children in an under-construction house of a relative. Whatever she earns she spends on the treatment of the children, she said.

She has officially been listed by the state in the below poverty line category. She has also been given an identity card so that she gets various facilities, including subsidised rice, wheat and a house. But she has not benefited so far.

"I have not received any benefit so far," she complained.

The government has various schemes for the physically challenged, widows and people living below the poverty line.

B.P. Majhi, additional district magistrate, told media: "We have asked the local block development officer and child development project officer to investigate the matter and submit a report as soon as possible so the needful can be done." (IANS)