we're sorry. you can go home now  

rm_titsandtires 51M/41F
2973 posts
10/17/2005 9:48 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

we're sorry. you can go home now

can you imagine?

from reuters:

More than half-a-century ago, Machal Lalung was thought to be insane and sent to a mental asylum in India's remote northeast.

A few months ago, he was set free after the National Human Rights Commission found that healthcare authorities had made a mistake and Lalung suffered only from epilepsy.

Lalung's confinement for 54 years has shocked rights activists and mental health experts in a country where it is not uncommon for people to be branded insane and locked up in homes MF asylums for months, if not a few years.

"Machal Lalung's case was not in our knowledge but once it was brought to our notice, we immediately completed all legal formalities to secure his release," Assam's Home Minister Rokybul Hussain told Reuters.

"I am really sorry for him," he said.

That comes as small consolation for the 77-year-old frail tribal man, who was 23 when he was sent to the state-run mental hospital in the Assamese city of Tezpur.

Fifty-four years with psychiatric patients has dulled his senses, made him forget his family, his tribal dialect and even the taste of the food he liked.

His life before entering the asylum is nothing but a blip in his memory. So is the story of how and who brought him to the mental home. Doctors who treated Lalung have retired and records about him are missing.

Today Lalung said he awaits peace in death.

"I feel sad at what happened to my life but there is no use grumbling now. I am just waiting for death," he told Reuters at his nephew's home in Silchang village, about 55 miles east of Assam's main city of Guwahati.

"Initially, I used to miss my family and always begged my wardens to send me home. But they never listened to me," he said with tears in his eyes.

Lalung's only family members -- his father and elder sister -- are dead. He lives with his sister's son who grew up listening to stories about his uncle's disappearance.

It was in fact the nephew who managed to trace Lalung after a man from their village had gone to the same mental hospital for treatment and saw Lalung.

"It was very difficult to stay with insane people in the same room but gradually I got used to it," Lalung said.

Today, despite his poor health, Lalung likes to work in a small vegetable garden outside the house, carrying a spade and a pouch containing a tobacco and betel nut snack to chew.

Although there were many women in the hospital, Lalung never tried to make friends with them MF consider marriage.

"Who would want to marry an insane woman?" he asks.

This kind of story makes me thankful for everything i have.

rm_titsandtires 51M/41F
3656 posts
10/18/2005 8:02 pm

foto - I had a hard time reading it myself at first. I was waiting for the punchline, but it never came.


Become a member to create a blog