Lack of rehab centres mars recovery chances of mentally ill patients

The absence of rehabilitation centres in Kashmir is taking a heavy toll on the patients who recover from various ailments, but find it difficult to find a place to settle down. The patients who come out of different hospitals and have nowhere to go are suffering due to the lack of attention from the state’s Social Welfare Department.

There are various patients lying in different hospitals, especially in Govt Mental Diseases Hospital, Rainawari who are in dire need of rehabilitation, as in most of the cases the families of such patients have abandoned them.

One such case is that of Javiad Ahmad Kumar’s, who was admitted to the hospital in 2008, after he developed some serious mental issues.

Since then, Javaid who is undergoing treatment in the hospital from last nine years, is said to have recovered to a greater extent and can be taken home, but what has been worrying the hospital staff is that Javaid is not being accepted back in his family as they have refused to take him in owing to societal pressures.

“There comes the role of rehabilitation centres that are missing as of now,” says a doctor who has been continuously monitoring Javaid’s condition.

The officials at the hospital said that there was a lady who was admitted in the hospital years ago, even after she recovered the family failed to take her back, adding that she died in the hospital and even after her death the family refused to take away her body for burial. According to the officials, the lady was then buried in the hospital compound.

The experts are of an opinion that in a society like Kashmir, there surely is a need of rehabilitation centres. But according to them the concerned department in the government is not paying heed to it.

If there would have been any such centre in the city, Javaid would have been shifted there after he responded to the treatment and aconsiderable change was observed in his condition.

“However, due to the absence of these rehab centres, he is being forced to stay in the hospital,” doctors said, adding that if he is taken out of hospital, his condition may improve further.

According to the data available regarding the Social Welfare Department, there is no rehabilitation centre functioning in the state.

The department is running Cottage Industry Centres, Ladies Vocational Centres, Bal Ashrams, Nari Niketans, Observation Home and Social Welfare Centres, but no Rehabilitation Centres are being run or managed by the department.

Doctors at the hospital said that such patients are rarely taken back by their families and are left to spend their lives in misery.

“In such a situation the government has got a role to play,” they said.

The reality that Javaid is not going home again is silently taking a toll on him, as he seems to have accepted the fact. However, his silence is raising serious questions on the discharge of duties by the concerned department that has, in a way plucked him out of social fabric, forever.



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