An indigent centenarian woman, Hameedha Bee has successfully recovered from COVID-19 here, while her family alleged battling discrimination from neighbours, following which an enquiry was held on Wednesday.
In the backdrop of accusation of being stigmatised, a team of officials led by Revenue Divisional Officer (Vaniyambadi), Gayathri Subramani visited the family at a village near here following Tirupattur District Collector MP Sivanarul's direction, a revenue department official said.
Hameedha Bee, reportedly 103-year old lives with her 58-year old daughter Mubarak and 30-year old granddaughter Shama at Periyavarikkam village about five km from here. The centenarian lady, after testing positive for coronavirus was treated at the General Hospital here for a week from July 1. Authorities said she responded well to the treatment and recovered.
While Shama alleged that their family faced discrimination at the hands of their neighbours who wanted them to vacate their house, the official said the government was doing everything for their well-being. "We are trying to provide pension for the centenarian lady. Though she is from a different taluk (Pernambut), we are working to expeditiously provide Hameedha Old Age Pension soon," the official told PTI.
Asked about measures in place for the elderly woman's welfare and her family in the wake of accusation of discrimination, he said the local Village Administrative Officer and Village Assistant have been specifically assigned to take care of Hameedha and her kin.
"Even today, we visited her. Provided her fruits and she is doing good. We have thoroughly enquired about allegations of harassment and all measures are in place to ensure their well-being," he said. Bee was originally a resident of Pernambut about 20 km from here and she had shifted to her daughter's residence at the village recently.
"The day we came to know that Hameedha was 103, we are taking special care of her," he said adding her age was based on the information provided by the family and not backed by any records as of now. "They (the family) say they have lost Hameedha's Aaadhar card with Pernambut address and related particulars. Even her daughter's (Mubarak) papers like Aadhar are in Pernambut which falls under a separate taluk in Vellore district," he added.
On charges of stigmatisation, a senior district health official said: "We are sensitising the people that the elderly lady tested negative during exit screening and she has gone also through a 7-day quarantine period following recovery." By mobilising volunteers, Bee has also been provided with vitamin tablets, fruits and immunity boosting 'kabasura kudineer.' More importantly, people were being told that the mere presence of somebody who had battled the virus must never be a cause for concern, he said.