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Tea stall to the rescue at Kolkata hospital

20 May, 2015 9:37 PM
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Relief to cured patients abandoned by families

The State-run Calcutta Pavlov Hospital began a new experiment here on Wednesday aimed at providing succour to the cured, yet abandoned patients of the mental hospital.

Four of them — all women — began operating a canteen on the hospital premises on Wednesday.

Ratnaboli Ray, an activist associated with Anjali, a mental health rights organisation, who along with the State Health Department has started the initiative, said rehabilitation of such patients remains a challenge both to the government and other agencies.

Their family members seldom visit them and do not want them back, they say. “Tumi ekhuno bari nie jawa moton hoe ni (You are not well enough to come home). This is what my aunt who pays a visit once a year says,” said Bula Sengupta, a resident of Dhakuria, who has been in the hospital for over four years.

Jyotsna Sarkar, another inmate from Chakdah in Nadia district, said that despite having children and a husband, no one visits her. “I feel very sad at times but what can I do? I have nowhere to go,” she said.

The stories of Rohima Khatun and Rita Das — the other two women who run the facility — are no different.

On Wednesday, some doctors and paramedical staff visited the canteen that primarily serves tea and snacks.

“This is a very good and unique initiative,” said D. Saha, a psychiatrist at the Pavlov Hospital. “This will increase their confidence.”

According to the doctor, a large number of patients stay on at the hospital after their treatment . “In many cases, the patients who are brought here on the orders of court remain here till they die,” he said.


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