Kerala: Did the child eat mud or was he playing?

Sreedevi was learnt to have told the commission that she sought the assistance of the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare owing to physical torture by her alcoholic husband on the children. She also said that when the commission officials visited their house for an enquiry the children were playing with mud and accidentally some mud entered the elder child's mouth. Representative image/Pixabay

While Kerala was reeling under the heart-rending reports of a seven-year-old boy being forced to eat mud to satisfy his hunger, a contradictory version has come up that the boy was not eating mud out of hunger, but was just playing with mud.

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights came out with the findings that the boy was just playing with mud and the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare misinterpreted it as the child eating mud out of starvation. The commission came out with the finding after taking the statement of the mother, who was living in pitiable circumstances with six children in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram city.

Read: Child eats mud out of hunger; mother seeks govt care

The commission chairman P Suresh had collected the detailed statement from the mother Sreedevi, her relatives and neighbours.

Sreedevi was learnt to have told the commission that she sought the assistance of the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare owing to physical torture by her alcoholic husband on the children. She also said that when the commission officials visited their house for an enquiry the children were playing with mud and accidentally some mud entered the elder child's mouth. She also said that she had signed on a statement prepared by the council officials without reading it.

Meanwhile, the council general secretary S P Deepak maintained that the council officials who visited the house after receiving a distress call had found the children in a pitiable condition. The family was not getting the benefits of any social welfare scheme of the public distribution system, he said.

While the council had decided to take care of four elder children, including two girls, the mother and two children in breastfeeding age were provided shelter at a government-run shelter home. The city corporation assured a job and house to the family.

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