Grandmother Ties Disabled Boy to Pole in Mumbai

Image: Indian boy Lakhan Kale sits with his grandmother on the pavement in Mumbai
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.PUNIT PARANJPE / AFP - Getty Images

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A homeless woman in India said she had no choice but to tie her disabled grandson to a bus stop while she went to work selling flowers on the roadside.

The boy, 9-year-old Lakhan Kale, cannot hear or speak and suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, according to the AFP news agency.

Lakhan Kale, 9, is tied with a cloth rope around his ankle to a bus-stop pole in Mumbai on May 20, 2014.PUNIT PARANJPE / AFP - Getty Images

After the Indian press printed photos showing Lakhan tied to a bus-stop pole in Mumbai, authorities took him into care in a government-run institution.

But activists said his plight on the streets is not uncommon in India, where those with disabilities face daily stigma and discrimination and a lack of facilities to assist them, AFP said.

‘What else can I do? He can't talk, so how will he tell anyone if he gets lost?’ his 66-year-old grandmother Sakhubai Kale told the news agency.