Written by Lahiru Fernando
20 Jun, 2016 | 6:18 am
Podihami recites a poem for her sons. It speaks of the purity of the milk she nurtured them with. Podihami speaks of an unbearable sadness, the heartache of a mother who is abandoned by the very sons she gave birth to….
News 1st first met her at the Anavilundawa Hospital on June 11 and presented her tragic story.
M. Podihami, a mother of two sons, was found abandoned on the road in her old age. While a greater number of people did not give her a second glance, a lady came forward and had her admitted to a hospital. When the good samaritan first took Podihami to the Chilaw Hospital, authorities informed her that they could not accept her in the absence of a guardian.
However, authorities at the Anavilundava Hospital took pity and admitted Podihami to the hospital. However, her five days in hospital were spent with just one visitor who watched out for her well being. That person was the good lady who took pity on her and brought her to the hospital.
Since Podihami had no home to return to after she was discharged from hospital, her benefactor took it upon her to provide accommodation for Podihami.
However things took a turn when a group of people, claiming to be relatives of the unfortunate Podihami, threatened the good samaritan and demanded that she return Podihami.
(Translated) “Seven days ago they came there ready to hack and slash. Even the police did not come. No one came. That girl could not bear it. She has children who go to school and she works hard. She is the only person who even brought me water.” – Podihami
Following that incident, Podihami left the home that had given her shelter in her old age and has now taken up residence at the bus stop near the Anavilundawa Hospital.
(Translated) “Her daughter-in-law called me and told me to kick her out. I could not do that. They came to my house with knives since I gave her accommodation. They demanded that I chase her out.” – Podihami’s benefactor
In spite of the cruel treatment she has received in her twilight years, Podihami bears no hatred towards her sons. Her benefactor, who had to endure threats for her charity, is ready to provide land to build a small home for her.
(Translated) “I will give her three meals a day and I will look after her, I can provide land to build a home for her. I can even find coconut palms for a thatched roof. Build her a small hut. I will give a portion of my land.”
Podihami’s tragic tale begs the question – how many elderly parents in our society have been abandoned this way?
As we commemorate Poson Poya Day, we should ask ourselves if our society can continue to turn a blind eye to the plight of people like Podihami.
20 Sep, 2020 | 09:45 PM
05 Jun, 2020 | 08:40 AM
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