Siblings lock up themselves for 3 years, post parents’ death

GGH psychiatrist, ZP Chairperson bring them out of house

September 17, 2022 06:58 pm | Updated 06:58 pm IST

Three siblings in their 30s and 40s reportedly locked themselves up in their house since the beginning of the first lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic and lead an anonymous life without any contact with the outside world, but the stench emanating from their house forced the neighbours to take note of their presence. Of the three, while the male member went out to fetch food and water, two women confined themselves inside the house.

The police and municipal staff broke the news of the existence of such a family on Friday night. They had been getting their packed food from local eateries, did not bathe, and did not have power or water connections as they had not paid the bills for several months.

The parents of the siblings used to run a successful eatery (Dosa Point) in the city, but the father died in 2016 after he broke his leg, the mother died in 2017 due to cancer, and the children reportedly slowly slipped into depression. The COVID lockdown in March 2020 seemed to have come as an aiding agent to push them deeper into depression. 

The incident turned out to be a classic example of living in a “Concrete Jungle” in inhuman conditions where even the neighbours did not bother to find out what was happening with the family, Ward Secretariat and Volunteers of the State government too did not bother or had any wind of the existence of such a family despite some social media leaks on Friday night. The relatives of the siblings living locally never told anyone about their plight.

On Saturday morning, Zilla Parishad Chairperson Boya Girijamma, living in the same Municipal Ward in Anantapur city, took note of the happenings there and got the house cleaned forcibly with municipal sanitation staff taking the help of local corporator.

At a time when none of the neighbours was ready to “disturb” the family, she requested a Government General Hospital psychiatrist B. Varadaraju to accompany her into the house and took Mayor Mohammed Waseem Saleem and the I Town police personnel to talk to them and convinced them to come out of the house to tell doctors about their problem. 

Two tractor loads of leftover food, packing materials, and other waste was removed from the house on Saturday. Dr. Varadaraju, Assistant Professor in the psychiatry department of the GGH, advised the local authorities to shift them to either hospital or a separate home where they could be treated and counselled to come back to normal life.

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