They spent months alone bolted inside their house - and one of them starved to death while other two were on the brink of dying. Their neighbours came to know about their existence only when the body of one of the three sisters started rotting.
In 2007, three sisters living in Kalkaji extension in southeast Delhi and facing poverty and unemployment apparently went without food for weeks.
Their neighbours realised only when one of the sisters, 30-year-old Neeru died and the stench of her rotting body spread throughout the lane they lived in.
Nothing helped the two surviving sisters, Dolly (43) and Poonam (41), who went through series of psychiatric evaluation and therapy.
Even today they spend most of their time behind the closed doors of their house and survive on little food and money the local RWA gives them. Any efforts to help them out has been fruitless. "I have time and again tried to speak to them. They need our help and support but they refuse to take it. They are very suspicious of outsiders," said Ashok Randhawa, president South Asian Forum People Against Terror.
Psychiatrists, however, believe that with the right kind of support and therapy they can be rehabilitated. But for that, the support of people is required.
"There is always scope for them to improve and normalise. Such people after therapy can lead a normal life. But people suffering from such disorders need social acceptance because a social stigma is attached to mental illness," said Jeetendra Nagpal, consultant psychiatrist VIMHANS.