True Stories:
This Book:
Story 11


The story of
Datta Kamble


success story :
the outcome of Community Service Program| SEHER

“The story of Datta"

picture of Datta

Datta, sixty one year old, registered as a client in the Seher program, through a 'corner meeting' in 2012. He was working earlier in the local government office and is retired now. He has two sons and two daughters. His wife left him due to constant domestic quarrels between them. One of his sons continued to stay with him. Others were staying with his wife. His wife took away the gold and money along with her, and it was a big shock to Datta.

He started drinking too. He was saying all the time, “Mere paas bohot sona hai, hire hai, aapko chahiye kya?” ("I have lots of gold and diamonds with me, do you want some?") His conversations were filled with the content of money, gold, airplane, etc. He was seeing gold everywhere. He used to collect the garbage and keep it in his pocket and said that he owns gold. He was not caring for himself. He was not taking a bath, he was wandering on streets, and he wouldn't come at home for two three days at a time.

At the time when we first met him, Datta bhau was drinking a lot. He was verbally abusive, was murmuring and talking to himself. His kept talking about his gold and seemed to be engaged in a search for it. He repetitively said ‘My gold was taken away, someone must have stolen it.’ When his condition aggravated his son admitted him into the Yerwada regional mental hospital. He was under medical treatment, put on high dosages on anti-psychotics; However, his drinking continued and the drugs did not seem to be making him any better.

He was identified in a corner meeting by Shaheen abba. His sister happened to be in the meeting and she approached her at the time. Contact was established with him and and the team started befriending him, to build connection and trust. Simultaneously, family interventions were started to sensitize them on his issues and working with them on their caregiving and support skills. He has an extended family and many relatives staying closeby, all of them not only co-operated with the organization, but also extended whole hearted support to Datta bhau in his journey.

He was separated from his wife and missed her, sessions were taken with both of them to reconcile their differences and to come to a common understanding. They continued staying apart, but were available to care for each other. He was also referred for Disability certification, but his son preferred not to go ahead, as he was a government employee and if they got to know of his psychosocial disability he would have lost his job!

He benefitted the most from group support . On the day of the group session, he would take a bath, shave, oil and comb his hair, wear ironed clothes and attend sessions. He loved interacting with his group peers, loved dancing, laughed and joked with them, spoke his heart out, sang songs, did not fear doing things he loved to do with people who did the same!! This was a good place to be crazy and act it out too !!

Nutrition inputs were given to the family . His father started looking a girl for him to get married. But, he didn’t respond to any. Family sessions were focused upon relationship between father and son, mother and son etc. Psycho-education, the importance of nutrition, self care, communication, relationships, etc. was done. Communication skills were strengthened. Anis’ symptoms reduced. He started saying constantly that he is doing well and changes were quite visible.

It was a long process to work with him and his family. On the one side there was constant pressure from his family to ‘fix’ him, while on the other there was a need that he should be independent, care for himself and be self sufficient- not wanting any ‘help’. He was connected to a local shop that repaired old cupboards. They gave him enough space to be with himself, focus on his work and have his quiet moments being with himself.

He visited his peers outside of the groups and offered emotional support to them, the joy of companionship, friendships, Manda and Pramila were his grood friends. He also mobilized people to group sessions and escorted them to the venue. He referred his family members to the sessions, and to the organization.

This was story 11. It is a true story.

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