Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Chained humans?

-By Swetha Amit
A news channel yesterday had reported an appalling condition of chained humans in a famous dargah in Hyderabad. This horrifying treatment continued in spite of the supreme court’s orders of prohibiting such homes to be shut down after a fire incident five years ago. This catastrophe had caused chained beings to lose their lives due to their pitiable condition.

Violating the human rights, it was sickening to see the inhuman treatment meted out to humans. Many of those mentally ill people were chained because they were reported to be under the influence of Satan and that there was a possibility of harming themselves. Apparently supernatural beliefs and superstitions do not make these ‘deciding authorities’’ Super humans, do they?

Such people are deprived of the luxury of leading a ‘normal’ life in the society due to their mental conditions. Their faultless state of mind causes immense embarrassment to their families who are unable to bear the burden of coexisting with them. It is a sad plight to see them being shunned by their own. And they are thrown in these homes like ragged piece of unwanted cloth or garbage as they are not affordable or cause a disgrace to their kith and kin.

Instead of being shown any kind of compassion, they are mercilessly bound by thick metal strips that prevent these helpless beings from moving around freely. To make matters worse, they are kept in miserable and unhygienic conditions. We complain of even being tied down to one place for a short span of time. Is it fair to subject these individuals to such cold blooded and dreadful condition?

According to the mental health act, such individuals were only allowed limited space as they had a tendency to be in constant movement. It certainly does NOT give them the right to be treated like animals in zoo.

Infringement of such laws/acts should be looked upon with a grim eye. Stern disciplinary steps need to undertaken to look into these beastly acts. Such homes need to get the approval of the concerned authorities before resorting to such extreme measures. Intervention of the human rights commission is vital in such instances. Mental illness needs to be handled with sensitivity and care and not by stifling such individuals from their needed space. Such unscrupulous behaviour needs to be taken into consideration before any feeling of humanity is wiped out from this world completely.

After all it makes our hearts bleed to see the pitiable state of our fellow humans being chained like some wild creatures in a zoological garden doesn’t it? The only difference is that they are not caged -yet?
Written for www.msn.co.in
Appeared as Editor's choice and story of the day

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