Chained for 12 years, mentally ill awaits help

October 16th, 2011 - 1:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Hanumangarh (Rajasthan), Oct 16 (IANS) He lost his mental balance at the age of 13 after his best friend died in front of him. For the next 12 years, Gangajal has been living tied to an iron chain in a dark corner of his house for lack of medical treatment.

Unable to afford a proper cure and getting no assistance from the government, the family of the 25-year-old in Sangaria in Hanumangarh district, , over 330 km from Jaipur, has kept him tied to chains.

Gangajal was going to school along with his friend when the unfortunate accident took place and changed his life forever.

Speaking to IANS, Nikku Ram, Gangajal’s distraught father, says his son did not move for months after the shock and when he came out of the near-coma situation, he kept shouting and throwing things at people.

“He didn’t sleep for many nights and kept us awake by shouting. The neighbours kept complaining. At times, he would turn violent and start throwing things at passersby. So we decided to keep him chained,” said Ram.

The young man still suffers from hallucinations and other mental ailments.

Ram, a labourer, did try to get him treated initially, but it was too expensive. Moreover, he had a family of 11 to feed.

“After my savings dried up, I couldn’t even think of getting treatment for Gangajal. My earnings as a labourer are not enough even for our survival, leave aside treatment.

“I have approached many officials, but nobody has so far come forward for help. I get assurances only. I have requested for a handicap certificate so that we can avail financial help, but that too has been denied,” he said.

(Anil Sharma can be contacted at anil.s@ians.in)

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