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Boy tied to bus stop highlights struggle for the disabled in India

Published on May 25, 2014 1:10 PM
 
In this photograph taken on May 20, 2014 nine year old Indian boy Lakhan Kale is tied with a cloth rope around his ankle, to a bus-stop pole in Mumbai. Lakhan Kale cannot hear or speak and suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, so his grandmother and carer tied him up to keep him safe while she went to work, selling toys and flower garlands on the city's roadsides. -- PHOTO: AFP

MUMBAI (AFP) - The nine-year-old boy dressed in blue lay listlessly on the pavement in the scorching Mumbai summer afternoon, his ankle tethered with rope to a bus stop, unheeded by pedestrians strolling past.

Lakhan Kale cannot hear or speak and suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, so his grandmother and carer tied him up to keep him safe while she went to work, selling toys and flower garlands on the city's roadsides.

"What else can I do? He can't talk, so how will he tell anyone if he gets lost?" said homeless Sakhubai Kale, 66, who raised Lakhan on the street by the bus stop shaded by the hanging roots of a banyan tree.

Lakhan's father died several years ago and his mother walked out on the family, his grandmother told AFP.

 
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