Thrissur: Around 30 residents of the Government Old Age Home in Ramavarmapuram, here, are on a hunger strike demanding three square meals a day. The elderly occupants took the step when their grievances about the misbehavior of the cook kept falling on deaf ears.
Two female staff and a helper are in charge of cooking the food required for the residents. The complaints are mostly against one woman, who, according to the residents, does not turn up in time for breakfast and often leaves without cooking the dinner.
They say that there were inquiries before and the cook was found to be a shirker. It is alleged that the authorities develop cold feet after inquiry reports are filed because of the intervention of people in power.
The collector had ordered an inquiry into the matter and the report filed by the superintendent had categorically mentioned the unruly behavior and frequent shirking of duty by the female staff.
The residents, several of them with debilitating health conditions, complain that the cook snap back angrily at them when they ask for food. She also appears to take pleasure in flinging the food on to the plate so that it splatters all over the person holding it. The food is often half-cooked and unpalatable.
Homeless and rejected by their children, the elderly inmates are forced to put up with whatever is dished out, nastiness included.
Chief Judicial Magistrate’s report
The inmates had earlier filed a complaint at the District Legal Services Authority. The cook however has been flaunting her influential connections and is said to have issued verbal threats to the superintendent apart from parading thugs.
The chief judicial magistrate made a visit to the Home on November 21. The cook had left that day without preparing dinner. His inquiry report noted that she had left without the permission of superintendent. It also mentioned the grievances of the inmates. Although the inquiry report was filed, it came to naught, killing the hope of the inmates.
The distressed residents have informed the collector that they will go on an indefinite hunger strike if the grievances are not addressed by December 10. Tahasildar and district social welfare officer visited the Home.