106-yr-old deserted woman seeks euthanasia

Death wish

Majji Devamma of Pakhirsahebpet built a tomb for her near the fields she had owned and asked district magistrate and collector J Shayamala Rao’s permission for euthanasia.

The elderly woman alleged in her petition that her children and grandchildren had taken away the land and the house left in her name by her husband Bapu Naidu and was thrown out of the family home three days ago.

Though she was allowed back into the house after the intervention of her neighbours, she was stopped from crossing the veranda. “My grandson has taken away the land and house.  He has cut off electricity and drinking water to the veranda,” she said.

 Dr  Nilam Sharada, who belongs to the same locality, rescued the woman from probable death after she was left to starve for three days.

“She has become physically weak, though she still remains mentally alert,” Dr Sharada said.  The collector said the law has no provision to allow Devamma to end her life, though she should be able to help the elderly woman under some recent legislation.

Acting on the petition, Shayamala directed local police to investigate and file a complaint against the members of her family members ill-treating Devamma.

However, the woman’s grandson Ramakrishna said Devamma agreed to sell the land for Rs 1 lakh but is now refusing to hand over the property after he had sold and handed over the money to her.

He said his cousin Jagadeswari, a rights activist and lawyer with whom Devamma lived for a while, is behind the latest incident.

The law for protection of elders and parents by children passed in 2006 provides for a fine up to Rs 5,000 and imprisonment for three months to the offenders. The law also empowers the elders to disinherit their children if they are not taken care of in their old age.

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