A father and his two sons were thrown out of a rented room, and forced to live on the street for days, over COVID-19 suspicions, in the Indian state of Kerala, recently. Today, Twitter users from the state shared the story, of a man named Raju whose plans to finally live with his children, after six years of separation, were ruined as the pandemic struck.
Reportedly, Raju’s two sons, 15-year-old Mosha and 13-year-old Joshua, had been studying and living in a boarding school, in Kerala’s Mavelikkara district till early this year. Their mother died eight years ago, and Raju could not afford to keep them with him, on the small salary he was paid, while working at a restaurant in Thiruvananthapuram. In February, after finding a new job, he decided to bring back his sons, and enroll them at a school near his workplace.
According to Indian news website thenewsminute.com, Raju said: "When they were very young I put them in a boarding school, as I had to work hard to get money for their education. But, we were so sad that we were not together. I decided to change their school to Thiruvananthapuram… I took a room for rent, as I planned to bring my children. They were very happy that we were going to live together again.”
But, as COVID-19 hit, his dream turned into a nightmare. When the lockdown was announced, restaurants were shut down, and Raju lost his job. The family got their daily means from community kitchens. But, things got worse when the children developed fever. He reportedly said: "Some days ago they developed fever. They had to take treatment at a general hospital. They did a coronavirus test, but it was negative.”
According to Raju, when they returned home, the landlord alleged that the children have COVID-19, and asked the father to vacate the room.
Raju and his children were forced to sleep in the open verandah of the Fort High School, in Thiruvananthapuram, for a few days. On rainy days, they would sleep inside a nearby shopping complex. But, as fate would have it, they were separated again.
Apparently, after local news channels reported on the plight of the family, the children were shifted to a shelter home on Sunday night. And, Raju was shifted to another temporary shelter home.
Now, all the father seeks is a room where his children and he can live together. According to thenewsminute.com, he said: "I am a heart patient, but I have the confidence that I can take care of my children. I know that it will not be easy to find a job at this time. Still I can do any work. Their education should not be stopped.”