They find wisdom in helping the insane | india | Hindustan Times
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They find wisdom in helping the insane

india Updated: Jul 13, 2006 00:11 IST
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EVERY MONTH Doodh Nath Yadav throws a party. The party is special for the guests do not come to his house to attend it. Correction. They can’t. So UPPCL’s Yadav goes to them!

Every day, four police constables and a head constable, brace themselves up for a unique posting where they have to maintain law and ensure order under trying circumstances. Those for whom they are posted there are not criminals. Yet, if not looked after properly they are capable of committing a crime unknowingly!

Two doctors of the King George’s Medical University’s psychiatry department—Dr SC Tiwari and Dr PK Dalal—-take time off virtually every week to meet two senior IPS officers. The doctors aren’t worried about a police case. Yet, the special cases that they handle are ones that they have deliberately taken under their supervision. 

And for the two IPS officers (who requested anonymity saying that one should highlight the role of people like Yadav, constables and the psychiatry department doctors), it’s not just simple policing that they are engaged in. For, every now and then they receive information about “Jawaharlal Nehru’s son”, an “inmate of Rashtrapti Bhawan or Raj Bhawan” etc. And no sooner do they come to know about them than they rush.

If you now know that all these people are involved in rehabilitating mentally challenged people how would you react? For the last one year, a special exercise to rehabilitate/cure mentally challenged people is silently going in the State Capital with the help of all these people.

Ever since the exercise was initiated about 50 people have either been cured and united with their family members who had earlier taken them to be dead or are showing signs of improvement. So when, Ram Dulari, recovering at the women’s ward in the psychiatry department can speak and dress sensibly now (“when she was first spotted she was semi naked and blabbering”) it’s for constable Anurag Mishra, “a very pleasant and satisfying experience.”

This constable who along with three other constables—Mahendra Singh, Raj Kumar and Ram Kirpal—has deliberately chosen to serve these mentally challenged people inside the ground floor of the psychiatry department where a special eight-bed room has been provided for those who are brought here by these special volunteers. Besides, the department has provided 4 beds for women on the first floor. Anurag, who was getting posted to a police station, in fact, requested the department not to remove him from Psychiatry department, the experience of which is emotionally very satisfying. This correspondent visited the psychiatry department on Wednesday evening to see whether all that one had heard was actually for real. It was! The two IG-rank IPS officers explained that the Mental Health Act, 1987 makes it obligatory on the part of police to help in rehabilitating wandering lunatics or mentally challenged people by producing them before a judicial magistrate for a remand and then admitting them in hospitals. (Now, the DGP Bua Singh has even issued a circular to this effect.) But, an Act is merely an Act unless acted upon.

When the group mentioned above decided to act as per the Act, “emotional reunions” started taking place. Take the case of Rani Siddiqui, the girl who was found stark naked several months back. On June 18, this year when she was finally discharged the reunion with her grandmother was to be seen and believed. Similar was the case with Tej Kumar, who ran away from Ujjain one fine day and landed in Lucknow.  

“Ever since he was surviving on comments, alms and abuses. In most cases, these people become senile due to neglect. All they need is attention. They often take months to disclose their identity, their address,” an IG said. Now, emotional reunions are happening with regularity at the psychiatry department. People long taken to be dead by their relatives and treated with disdain by the world are being locked in a tearful and warm embrace by their relatives who are coming here from across the country. The group involved in the exercise is now planning to spread their ‘efforts’ across the state.

Despite their request to remain anonymous it would be unfair if one doesn’t name the two IG rank IPS officers engaged in this noble exercise. They are Shailjakant Mishra, IG PAC and Sulkhan Singh, IG Technical Services. Contact them if you too want to lend a helping hand in this exercise.

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