The story of
success story :
the outcome of Community Service Program| SEHER
picture of sada
Sada is a middle aged man from Washim village, near Jalna in Maharashtra. He left home and wandered across many places in India over 4-5 years back. As we found out later on, he was having some family issues relating to agricultural property. He was found in disturbed state, wandering on the streets of Delhi by an NGO and had been in their care since February of 2015.
They referred him to Institute of Human Behaviour & Allied Sciences (IHBAS) for a psychiatric evaluation and treatment.Over a period of time they realized that he was speaking in Marathi and that he was from Maharashtra. The NGO then got in touch with BAPU Trust Pune with a view of rehabilitating him back with his family.
Subsequently, Sada and the NGO Shelter Manager visited BAPU Trust office in Pune and facilitated his transfer to the BAPU Trust for forward works in this regard.Sada registered as a client of the BAPU Trust, Pune. He arrived in a state of great disturbance, but was also able to communicate on and off with our team. We considered the option of placing him in the local mental hospital.
We even got the permission for doing so, from the main hospital and also in the ward of an NGO stationed there. We started looking for foster care in the basti.We were suspecting that low income families would not be able to afford foster care. We were disproved in this assumption. We found a family willing to care for him. The family has cared long term, till recovery, for another person with a history of psychosis.
They had not just the skills to care for someone with severe disturbances,but also in accepting the person beyond labels, beyond stigma, beyond fear and going beyond ‘just a patient'.Sada stayed with a foster family in Kashewadi Basti of Pune city for a couple of weeks. During this course of time, not only did they provide him with shelter and food, they cared for him in many ways, sharing a deep level of empathy with him every step of the way.
In addition, he was provided a lot of support by various people in the community, including a small ‘battalion’ of young enthusiastic adolescent boys from the community.They befriended him, cared for him, helped him settle in the new place with new people, assisted him in and around the community, spent time with him, getting to know him better, took him around some places for sightseeing and established him as one among them.
The BT team was in regular touch with Sadashiv and this extended community though this period.He was referred to a psychiatrist for a re-assessment of his medication and for advising a future course of treatment considering his overall context. In addition, the organization managed to locate and get in touch with his family and friends back in Washim, encouraging them to visit him and assist in his relocation. His neighbour and friend visited the organization and
spent 2 days with Sada in his foster family. He was very happy to see Sada and motivated to assist him in his recovery and integration into his family and village life. Within a few days, an action plan was made to escort him back to his village and ensure safe caring spaces for him back at home. Few members from the organization and the community along with Sada left for his village near Washim. Once the group reached Akola, they established in-person meeting with the
district collector and the DSP, concerning the property matter.Even though visibly disturbed and anxious by this formal meeting, Sada answered all the questions that the Collector asked. Hearing about Sada's story and journey so far, the collector was moved; and he extended all support in making the reintegration possible. He helped the team connect with the DSP who nominated his team members to join the squad with this singular purpose –
- the purpose of enabling a lost traveller find his way back home!! By this time, news had already reached Mangrulpir about Sada arriving. As the vehicle got closer, Sada could not contain his excitement and started calling out to people by their names, occasionally waving to some, telling the group names of places on the way, it was sheer excitement of returning- returning to his place, his village, his people, a place where he had grown up,
it was his territory and the seemingly lost Sada's face suddenly lit up.The entire village gathered to welcome him, through the journey people had offered support, help and directions spontaneously- it almost seemed as if something else was at work here! The atmosphere was of mixed emotions.
A number of stories were doing the rounds. The Tehsildar along with the others- the police patil, the panchayat members, the BT team and extended community negotiated with-- the family, with the entire village to care, to look out for, to protect one of their own.
Sada received a hero’s welcome, but he was already in a faraway place- in his mind, something was transpiring, something clicked, he left the hullabaloo and entered his house. Sitting down in a corner, he looked around- very quietly, within himself and stayed there. For others, it was a celebration.
The Bapu Trust team has been in touch with Sada and his family ever since.
He is doing well,with local medical assistance and our phone counselling.
He speaks to us on the phone, his friends and wife are also in touch with us.
We worry about his psychiatric medication and its long term effects. We did leave many references with his wife and family of Yoga and meditation centers.
We encourage his family members to engage him in some work, and gainful employment. No doubt in time, those will happenSada is a person first-if there are people to support him he can come out of his ‘mental illness’ and lead a life like any other. Does having a disability make a person a lesser one, or is he too deserving of a life like you and me, like ‘us’ .
- like ‘us? is there a need of a split between the them and the us. Had not the community been so forthcoming would someone like Sada have ever had a chance of making it back and making it well ?? .
This was story 6. It is a true story.
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