Good Samaritans facilitate reunion within a short span

Mangal Soren, a 40-year old tribal from Odisha, had no idea how he landed up in Chatram Bus stand in the city last week. Thanks to the efforts of many Good Samaritans, the coolie labourer and father of two children was reunited with his family within a short span in Tiruchi on Monday.

The man who was wandering in the bus stand for two days was taken to the Fort Police Station. Suspecting the man to be mentally unsound, the station referred him to Anbalayam, an organisation that cares for wandering mentally ill found in the streets of Tiruchi, Perambalur, and Pudukottai.

Though he furnished an address, Mangal Soren could not provide any telephone numbers to T.K.S. Senthilkumar, Anbalayam founder. P. Thyagarajan, an employee with the Ordnance Factory, Tiruchi, volunteered to network with various high-ranking officials in his organisation and traced the block development officer in a village near Badipura in Mayurbanj district , Orissa.

By December 12 his family received information about his whereabouts, said his brother-in-law who came to Tiruchi on Monday. Mangol Soren was rescued on December 9.

His family claimed that he arrived in Tamil Nadu along with friends who promised him better prospects in a food processing factory in Pudukottai. R. Shyamala, differently abled welfare officer, asked the family to allow Mangol Soren, a class VI dropout, to continue work in his home State.

A psychiatrist from ATHMA Hospital who diagnosed the patient told The Hindu that the man was diagnosed with psychosis or disconnect with his surroundings. Confirming the that he did not suffer from any long standing illness, doctors were positive the syndrome was temporary and recovery was possible with medication and family support.

Better networking among organisations working for the mentally ill in various states and sensitisation of Railway Protection Force can ensure mentally ill patients do not wander far away from home, said Mr. Senthilkumar. Such patients were subject to various problems including harassment and sexual assault.