Disabled nine-year-old boy who spent days tethered to a Mumbai bus stop marks new beginning

Published: July 8, 2014


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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. PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER DESI

This weekend marked a new beginning for the nine-year-old deaf and mute boy who made headlines across the globe after photos of him tethered to a Mumbai bus stop went public.

According to the Indian Express, Lakhan Kale, who suffers from cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder, started his very first week at a boarding school for children with disabilities in Satara, a city in Western India.

Lakhan had never been to school before. His father died years ago and his mother left the family, so his 66-year-old grandmother, who is homeless, raised him on the city streets. With Lakhan’s tendency to wander off and his inability to speak, she felt forced to tie him to the bus stop while she tried to make a living selling toys and flowers along the Mumbai roadsides.

It was in May that a Mumbai newspaper published the photos of Lakhan sitting on the pavement in the afternoon heat with a rope tied around his ankle, attached to an adjacent bus stop, which sparked concern among the city’s charities and local police.

A social worker was able to get Lakhan into one of the few state-run homes that takes in needy and disabled children, until he was finally transferred to the Samata Shikshan Prasarak Mandal school this weekend.

Browse photos of Lakhan’s first day of school at the Indian Express.

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