Bhawanipatna, July 9 (LocalWire): The district administration in Odisha’s Kalahandi district has come to the rescue of an impoverished and elderly couple who had fettered their two mentally-challenged sons.
Abject poverty had forced impoverished parents from far-flung Barabakhara village under Kokasara block of the district to chain their two mentally deranged sons – Khiti Dharua and Lalit Dharua – for more than a decade, as the cost of treating the psychiatric disorder was too high for them to pay.
As the unsavory episode of ‘chained humans’ came to the fore, the local authorities swung into action by unfettering the duo and shifting them to the district headquarters hospital at Bhawanipatna for free psychiatric treatment.
“We were left with no option but to chain them for almost 12 years as they were constant nuisance makers,” narrated the parents of the mentally-ill youths.
Describing the act of fettering humans to tame lunacy as highly unethical and contrary to provisions of law, the rights activists iterated that a lunatic man has the right to a decent living.
The movement of these mentally-challenged persons cannot be restricted by putting them in chains regardless of the fact that they might be causing nuisance following psychiatric disorder.
“Poor economic condition mostly prompts people to do so in order to subdue the show of violence as the cost of psychiatric treatment is exorbitant for an average person.
Also, the mental healthcare infrastructure in Odisha is quite poor and the government-run mental health institute at Cuttack is the only specialized institute to treat cases of mental disorders in the state.
In most of the district headquarters hospital, the posts of psychiatric specialists are lying vacant,” human rights activist Binayak Swain said commenting on the incident.