The condition of mentally challenged people in India is nothing less than a living hell. Such people are deprived of their family’s love and compassion. Worse than that, they aren’t even taken seriously by their own family. Instead of getting proper treatment, more often than not, they are chained and confined in a dilapidated state.
In a barbaric incident, throwing light on the poor condition of psychiatric patients in our country, a mentally challenged woman from Goa was rescued from her parents’ house in Candolim village after 20 years. It’s an immensely shocking fact that the victim who is in her 50’s was locked up in a shack-like-room from last 20 years. Someone wrote an email to an NGO about the lady’s condition and Goa police rescued her. The woman was locked due to her ‘Abnormal behaviour’.
The victim, Sunita Verlekar got married to her husband in Mumbai 20 years back. But things soon turned sour when she found out that her husband was already married. Having nowhere else to go, Sunita left her husband’s house and returned to her parent’s house in Candolim.
Her brothers are living at their parent’s house at present. The woman was locked up in a dark room with no clothes on her body and urine all around. She was given food and water through a slit in the door and her room was never opened.
“The woman was locked in a dark room of her parents’ house currently occupied by her two brothers and their family members. She was being served food and water through a window,” a senior police official told PTI.
Later, the Police sent her to a hospital for treatment. The NGO named ‘Bailancho Saad’, was the one who tipped off the police about the mentally challenged woman, kept in an unlivable condition in a house in the village. The NGO came to know about the woman through an anonymous email.
“When the police team entered the room, they found that the woman was naked and reluctant to move out of the room which is located on the backside of her parent’s house,” the official said. (As reported by Huffington Post)
Although no arrests have been made so far, the investigation is on and an offence has been booked under Section 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code.
“We are yet to arrest anyone. The investigation is still at the primary stage. The statements of family members of are being recorded,” the police official said.
Our country harbours a widespread belief that mental health conditions are a result of possession by evil spirits and that no treatment can cure this. Due to lack of understanding and awareness around mental health, mentally ill patients continue to live in inhuman conditions. But, all they need is our love, support and proper medical care to recover.
Image Source: Daily Bhaskar