When Union Minister Sushma Swaraj met Benson and Bensi (left), Benson
Kollam: Benson set off on his final journey to a world sans discrimination and neglect. He was the only remaining member of the family in which the first case of AIDS in Kollam was reported. Benson committed suicide due to love failure at the residence of his relative in Kottarakkara.
Malayalis will never forget Benson and Bency, children who had to face the disregard of society for having AIDS. They were discriminated after the death of their parents due to AIDS. They were treated poorly and deemed as ‘children’ of AIDS patients. Parents of Benson and Bency’s classmates refused to send their kids to school fearing they would contract AIDS. The duo had to drop out because of this.
This happened nearly two decades back and the matter was taken up by the media. Their lives were discussed extensively in Kerala following that. The then Union Minister Sushma Swaraj met Benson and Bency during that time. Gradually, the mentality of people started to change and society became more inclusive of Benson and Bency.
Benson and Bency were living with their grandmother Sallykutty after the demise of their parents Chandy and Mary. Bency passed away nearly 10 years back after her condition worsened. Sallykutty too passed away recently. Benson became all alone following this. He had been living at the residence of his relative in Kottarakkara for almost a year.
Benson was an optimistic person. He did not want to stay hung up on his limitations but wanted to face each hurdle thrown his way strongly. But Benson lost all hope when he split with his girlfriend. His relatives said that he was not in a good mental state for a week post-break-up.
(Suicide is not a solution to any problem. Please seek the help of a mental health expert if you are under distress. Contact toll free number: 1056)