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Taj trip for elders who have never left Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram Nov 12: Till Saturday, Karuppan, 83, had never stepped outside his village Karassery in north Kerala.
But he and 80 others aged between 65 and 85 have now set off on a journey to see the Taj Mahal, Red Fort and some other historical monuments in and around Delhi.
The 81 elders, who include 33 women, boarded the Nizamuddin-Mangala Express from Kozhikode on Saturday, said Karassery panchayat president V.K. Vinod.
"These days we mostly hear about children abandoning their aged parents or sending them to old-age homes," Vinod, who is accompanying the team, said. "We want to make our panchayat an elderly-friendly village."
Pennuty, 85, said he was happy at the chance to see monuments "we had read about in school". Moidu said: "We had never thought we would be able to make such a trip."
Abdulla Kumaranellur, standing chairman of the panchayat, said he had promised the villagers that if they voted the Left to power in the local body, they would be taken on a trip to visit the Taj and other historic sites.
"These people had never travelled outside Kozhikode district," Abdulla said, adding that a private group was sponsoring the all-expenses-paid trip.
Last year, elderly people from the panchayat were taken to Kozhikode city and the ancient port town of Beypore. - PTI