Mentally-ill confined for 25 yrs

- GIRU PRASAD BHANDARI, Pyuthan
Mentally-ill confined for 25 yrs

Sep 9, 2014-

After losing his sanity, Lal Man Rana, 46, of Jumrikandha-5, Burtibang has been confined to his home by none other than his own family for the past 25 years. His feet has been tied to a heavy wooden log in order to prevent him from moving around freely even inside his own house. A hole has been dug inside the room for him to answer the call of nature. And as he has not ventured out of his house for many years, he expresses fear whenever he sees anyone other than his own family members.

According to local Obiram Budha, Lal Man, who was always jolly and helpful to others, suddenly suffered a serious mental illness one day. He was 21 when that happened, and from that day onwards he has been locked up inside the room. Budha said that after Lal Man started running amok vandalising other people’s property, the locals forced his family to have him locked up inside the house fearing that he might do some serious damage to other people’s house or property.

Meanwhile, Sari Rana, Lal Man’s wife, said that her husband started suffering from mental problems five years after their marriage. Rana had married when he was 16 years old.  

“Although it is hard to see my husband tied to a wooden log and watch his pitiful condition, we have been compelled to do so as he would cause havoc if we allow him to go out of the house,” Sari said. Stating that her family is barely making ends meet due to the mental illness of her husband, she said that she might not be able to carry out the responsibility of looking after Rana, his parents and their two children for long if she does not get any help and support from others.

Financially deprived, the family has not been able to seek proper medical treatment for Lal Man and instead relies on local shamans to find a cure for the malaise.

“We took him to a local shaman thrice, but he did not get better. We have sought all kinds of treatment to make him better, but to no avail, ” Sari said. According to Sari, the family members have not been able to give Lal Man a proper bath or cut his long hair for years as they are afraid that he might attack them if they go near him.

“In the past, Maoist rebels used to cut his hair whenever they were in the village, but since the end of insurgency, no one has tried to go near him,” Budha said.

He looks dirty and dishevelled, and constantly scratches his body and head due to poor hygiene. Moreover, after being infected with scabies, his whole body is covered with itchy rashes.

Published: 10-09-2014 09:29

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