Mentally ill man freed after 20 yrs in chains

- KUMBHARAJ RAI, OKHALDHUNGA

Oct 13, 2015-

After living a life bound by manacles for almost 20 years, a 63-year-old man from Shrichaur VDC-5 of Okhaldhunga district has finally been freed.

Lal Bahadur Tamang, a sufferer of mental illness, was chained by his family members and villagers after he went through a violent episode. He remained tethered like an animal in his own house for almost two decades without treatment.

Tamang was finally released when a health team from the Public Health Unit of Okhaldhunga Community Hospital found him and took him to the hospital for treatment. Within a few weeks of hospital stay, his condition improved drastically. Tamang is now able to help his wife Sanumaya at home. The wounds around his ankle, caused by manacles, are gradually healing.

“The last 20 years is like a dream for me. I’m glad that I recovered from the treatment,” Tamang said.His wife, Sanumaya, said when her husband first started to show his symptoms she thought he was cursed with black magic. Her doubt grew stronger when the villagers reached the same conclusion, that he had been hexed.

“We took him to many shamans but he didn’t recover at all. In the end, we decided to tie him because he could get really destructive and harm others,” she said. “Then, we didn’t know better. We didn’t seek medical attention.”

Published: 13-10-2015 09:04

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