Disabled Boy Tied to Bus Stop Sparks Outrage
Photos shine spotlight on unpopular issue in India
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2014 6:15 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Lakhan Kale's grandmother would tie him to something on the street before each work day and walk away. That's because 9-year-old Lakhan has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and no one else in Mumbai, India, would care for him, ABC News reports. Cringing? You're not alone: News photos of Lakhan tied to a bus stop drew enough outrage in India that a state-run home took the boy in, and activists found a rallying cry for the nation's 40 to 60 million disabled, reports the Daily Mail (which also has photos of Lakhan).

"There's no collective responsibility," said the head of a charity for the disabled. "You have a disabled child, you look after it." A social worker for the mentally ill said Mumbai lacks facilities, and those that exist are low on staffing or short on space in the densely-packed city. An equal-rights bill for the disabled reached the Indian parliament in February, but a lawyer who helped draft it five years ago said it's been diluted. At least Lakhan's grandmother now has peace of mind: "The shelter will also take care of Lakhan's treatments," she told the Times of India, before tearfully asking staffers how often she could visit her grandson.