Kollam: Madhuri's house has all facilities including a car porch, but its premises are covered in weeds and grass. Many words are scribbled on the walls of the house with charcoal including ‘no entry for anyone’. A dog that chases after strangers guards the compound. There are six inmates in the house. Among them, three are mentally challenged and two are children. All that strengthens Madhuri to live through her tough days is the good old memories from childhood.

‘Haripuram’ house at Ramankulangara is a pain in the hearts of the local residents. It was the residence of Haridasan Nair, a political activist to whom the locals had reached out for any need big or small at any time. However, after his death, the lives of his family members turned upside down. The joyous and peaceful days became a nightmare and no one goes in there now a day.

Haridasan Nair’s wife Rajammayamma and their younger daughter Asha are mentally ill. Madhuri is their eldest daughter. The six-member family, including Madhuri, Rajammayamma, Asha, Asha’s son who is an 8th standard student, Madhuri's son, a 10th standard student, have been living under the protection of Madhuri for years. But, Madhuri has no job. Rajammayamma has another son who is also mentally ill. He has been shifted to another place after repeated complaints from neighbours.

After the death of Madhuri’s father, her life evolved into a rally of misery. Her husband also left her. Her sister Asha started showing mental disorders after she became pregnant. Her in-laws sent her home and never came back. 

“My father had lent money to people, but was cheated by many of them,’ said Madhuri.

The family has no means to meet their day-today-needs. The mental illness of Rajammayamma is also preventing them from selling the property. Madhuri has been supporting the family with the help kind-hearted relatives and neighbours. Problems inside the family has turned Madhuri's son’s studies into chaos.

Locals and neighbours say that Rajammayamma and Asha will return to normal life if they get proper treatment.