TAMIL NADU

Rehabilitated, reunited with family

Narendaranath Gupta (left), a wandering mentally ill, with his brother, Sriram Gupta, in Tiruchi on Friday. — Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam

Narendaranath Gupta (left), a wandering mentally ill, with his brother, Sriram Gupta, in Tiruchi on Friday. — Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam  

Narendaranath Gupta (left), a wandering mentally ill, with his brother, Sriram Gupta, in Tiruchi on Friday. — Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam

TIRUCHI, APRIL 24. A 28-year-old man, Narendaranath Gupta of Shivpuri in Sindhuwara district in Madhya Pradesh, who was till recently roaming the city streets, was reunited with his family here yesterday at the initiative of Anbalayam, a city-based voluntary organisation working for wandering mentally ill patients.

Gupta, who hailed from a poor family of agriculturists, left his home in search of a job two years back. He travelled through various cities including Bangalore before finally landing in Tiruchi.

Having exhausted the meagre cash that he carried, he soon became a street dweller. The alien environment and language soon took a toll on his mental health.

Afflicted with a fear psychosis and unable to communicate effectively, he was seen wandering around the Cantonment police station in Tiruchi.

Anbalayam volunteers, who feed the wandering mentally ill everyday, soon spotted him and started providing midday meal to him also.

Considering his age, he was accommodated at the Anbalayam's Rehabilitation Home at Guntur, on the outskirts of the city.

He was also given treatment by a team of psychiatrists, Partha Pratim Kundu and Rajni S. Gupta of Sowmanasya Hospital. Narendaranath, who was diagnosed with an ``unspecified psychosis,'' responded to the treatment and was able to communicate better, albeit through an interlocutor, Victor Lazarus, a volunteer.

Narendaranath soon recalled his house address and even a contact telephone number, which enabled Anbalayam to get in touch with his family.

His elder brother, Sriram Gupta, who had almost lost hope of finding his missing brother, came to Tiruchi, travelling all the way by bus. It was a tearful reunion for the Gupta brothers here when the younger Gupta was formally handed over to Mr. Sriram in the presence of Joseph Irudhayaraj, a faculty member of St. Joseph's College and Dr. Partha Pratim Kundu.

A visibly moved Mr. Sriram Gupta thanked the Anbalayam volunteers for enabling the rehabilitation of his brother. Back home, Narendaranath's wife and two children, who have been subject to much mental agony ever since he left the village, were eagerly awaiting his return.

The founder secretary of Anbalayam, T.K.S. Senthil Kumar, described the reunion as a significant milestone for his organisation.

The Anbalayam has planned to establish a network of voluntary organisations working for the cause of mentally ill and also train a group of volunteers.

He emphasised the role of the police in helping the cause.

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