Kasaragod: Magician and motivational speaker Gopinath Muthukad said he will set up a therapy centre for children with physical and intellectual disabilities in Kasaragod.
The centre will be modelled on the 'Different Art Centre' he runs in Thiruvananthapuram.
Muthukad made the announcement after gifting an electric wheelchair and an electric patient lifting hoist to Abdul Rahman (32), an endosulfan patient with paralysis, at Berka in Chengala grama panchayat.
Abdul Rahman cannot sit or walk. His frail father Abdulla (61) drags Rahman on the red-oxide floor to move him from one room to another. As a child, he used to take his son around in the neighbourhood in a wheelchair. Now he cannot even lift the boy.
After Abdulla's wife died five years ago, he has been tied to the house taking care of his son.
Abdul Rahman's condition was reported by the media in August.
Muthukad visited Abdul Rahman's house on October 25 and promised to do something to improve his mobility and ease the burden on his father in a month.
On November 23, the philanthropist visited Abdul Rahman's house again. This time with an electric wheelchair and electric patient lifting hoist. "Abdul will need his father's help only to be placed in the wheelchair. And for that, the father can use the electric hoist," said Muthukad.
He also built a ramp so that Abdul Rahman can move in and out of the house without assistance.
At his house, Muthukad also announced a "world-class" therapy centre in Kasaragod on the lines of the Different Art Centre in Thiruvananthapuram.
Muthukad said M K Luka, a former teacher of BCM College in Kottayam, has agreed to donate 16 acres of land for the project. Luka, a native of Idukki, has identified plots in four panchayats. "We will have to zero in on one," he said.
Apart from providing therapy, the Different Art Centre in Thiruvananthapuram also teaches children with special needs music, dance, drama, cinema making, painting, and skills in various musical instruments.
Earlier, the then minister for self-government M V Govindan discussed with Muthukad and announced in June that the celebrity magician would partner with the state government to help build the Endosulfan Rehabilitation Village proposed at Bovikanam.
But Muthukad told Onmanorama that the announcement he made on Wednesday was a different project.
To be sure, the government just started the foundation work on the rehabilitation village proposed in 2014-2015.