An 80-year-old blind and deaf woman was rescued from a house filled with heaps of garbage that had been piling for over eight years.
Acting on a complaint received by other flat owners in the two-storey residential building in Mumbai about the foul stench emanating from the ground-floor flat, about 40 municipal employees arrived at the scene to see the house overflowing with garbage and a woman sleeping on a bed amidst all of it, reported The Indian Express.
"When we entered the house, we were aghast to find heaps of debris all around in three rooms spread over 2,000 sq ft. Most shockingly, an 80-year old woman was lying on a bed in the middle of that debris," an officer at Mulund police station told PTI. "We could not find the way to enter into the rooms that were blocked with debris all around. We had to break the door from backside and then we could enter," the officer said.
A Mid-Day report states that the woman, identified as one Maniben Savla, was forced to live in these conditions as her two daughters would go out begging and bring home scraps they accumulated during the day. Spread across the flat, the amount of garbage had grown into several heaps, to the point that the front door of the flat was blocked.
The authorities reportedly had to use eight clean-up trucks to cart the garbage away.
Maniben's son Haribhai, however told IE that the mounds of foul-smelling stuff inside the flat was "not garbage".
"The builder was going to demolish the building. Hence, we put all our personal items inside the house, it is not garbage. Our mother has been living there for the last 13 years. She cannot hear or see. I take her out of the house twice a year. We had water drums and other personal items that the BMC has taken away; it is all ours,” Haribhai insisted.
Since no case has been registered, the authorities could only warn Maniben's children to take better care of their mother.
"We scolded the woman's four children (two sons and two daughters) for putting their mother's life at risk," the officer said.
(With agency inputs)