True Stories:
This Book:
Story 8


Taiju

success story :
the outcome of Community Service Program| SEHER

Taiju

Taijuddin lives in Lohiyanagar, to some extent with his father and sister and to a great extent with his “well wishers and friends”. His sister had got in touch with the organization through a corner meeting. She had seen another person like her brother ‘change’ after coming to Seher and approached the team with this hope for her brother.

She described Taiju as being extremely disturbed. He took off his clothes when at home, in front of her young children, he would laugh loudly, talk a lot to himself, often shouting and screaming, wandering a lot, seemed to have many sexual needs, often displaying inappropriate behaviour in public and at home; and getting aggressive whenever she or her father tried to talk to him.

She felt very helpless and had no clue what to do. She could not bear to see him like this. People in the basti, especially children and youngsters often made fun of him teased him, mocked him, pelted stones at him and trailed him through the basti finding ways to trouble him.

He resisted all attempts by his sister and father to help him, they did not even know where he went through the day, what he did...The first thing that was done in Taijus case was to track him, to identify his 'beat', where he goes, which way, what routes did he take,

did he have a set pulse of movement while wandering or then was it unpredictable, did he have friends on the way, what did he do as he moved from one spot to another,did he have a ‘destination', were there any favourite spots, were there any threats to him on the way, what was his ‘track’, what did his day look like as he moved.

The team members literally followed him for a few days just to get a hang of his daily pulse.He spent time near a Masjid and was often seen hanging around this lane. We noticed that he had a severe injury in the leg. He had tried to cover the area with a plastic bag and some ragged cloth but blood, lymph and pus seemed to be oozing out of it.

He was also limping.When we followed up with his sister, she said that they were aware of this but he was resisting all efforts to go to a doctor to get the wound treated. He would run away on seeing her. There was an urgency to do something about the wound, else it would turn gangrenous

His sister along with a few people from the Masjid got him into a rickshaw forcefully and took him to a local doctor who advised them to take him to the mental hospital. This was not something that he could treat (even though it was the wound they wanted to get treated!!).

They took him to the mental hospital. He was hospitalised for about 2 months.

Through this duration, the team was in touch with him regularly, visiting him several times during the 2 months.

He often told us that he was a King and everybody else were his subjects, all heroines of the Hindi film industry came to meet him.

Through the two months, intensive corner meetings, awareness meetings and poster exhibitions were done in ‘his lane’. A number of discussions were held at the Masjid lane sensitising people about mental health issues and the role of support, accommodation, responsiveness and responsibility in accepting someone with a mental illness and assisting his recovery- including tips on what can be done.

Slowly there was a surge in the number of visitors to the mental hospital, all wanting to meet Taiju!! Parallely a number of sessions were done with his family on sensitising them providing them psycho education and giving them inputs on care giving skills - including nutrition. Once he was discharged, the field was already prepared for his inclusion.

A number of people from ‘his social circle’ on the Masjid lane stepped forward to offer him support. It has almost become like a home away from home for him. Most of his needs are taken care by them- including giving him space to be while at the Masjid or in its by lane, people who give him odd jobs to do and pay him for it,

encouraging him to offer prayers with them, make friends and connect with others, share his problems with them and look out for him.

Key persons from this community also motivate the family to care for him and assist him in all ways possible.Taiju is a regular to the peer groups.

He brings lots of energies to the group. He sings, shares stories and asks others to do the same- mere jaise gaao!! He is an easy going person often laughing off at small problems and taking it in his stride. He is symptom free, is well settled in his community and does not have many needs in terms of services.

He infact offers assistance to others and takes it on himself to help others- especially in the group. He takes a lot of initiative, is also collecting money to get married and get a house of his own. He has many dreams and is sure that one day they would all be realized.

In our view, what we did to make this possible is very little, in comparison to a lot of people who did much, much more and helped him reclaim his lost life. They opened up their hearts to him and carried him with so much care and concern- if only all persons with disabilities could be so fortunate!! .

Small acts when multiplied by many hands can transform the world!!

This was story 8. It is a true story.
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