The story of
success story :
the outcome of Community Service Program| SEHER
picture of Anil
Anil, thirty-eight old, stays in Lohiyanagar. He lives with two brothers, one sister, one sister in law, father and grandmother. The grandmother doesn’t stay with them. She stays in the same ‘basti’ (community), though. Anil’s elder brother has disappeared from home from past twelve years. He also had mental health issues, according to community reports. Anil’s younger brother Prakash takes care of him.
When Anil got married, then he was really happy. Unfortunately, on the same day of his marriage, his wife confided in him that she loved someone else. Anil decided to leave her at her house. Everyone in his home told Anil that not to do this. Anil didn’t listen to anyone and he left his wife at her home. He gave back the entire dowry he received in the marriage. He was saying that, “I can’t destroy her life, if she loves someone else.”
After this incident, Anil started being alone and isolated, he didn’t speak to anyone, he started mumbling and self talk. He used to say that he speaks to the Gods. At the same time, he lost his mother. He started living with his Grandmother. Anil works in the local printing press and earns his money. He gives his money to Prakash. Anil’s elder sister-in-law cooks for everyone.
Anil’s symptoms aggravated and he became agitated. He kept mumbling, giggling and murmuring. Afterwards, he was admitted into mental hospital. When he came back from the mental hospital Seher interventions started. He was referred to the organization by his family- His sister too was registered as a client with the organization and had greatly improved; She had gone back to full employment in a mall close by.
Anil was on medicines which the hospital gave. He was part of the therapeutic group for people with high support needs. Sessions were also focused on nutrition and self care. Family counseling, individual sessions took place. Anil started his work again.
After collecting his monthly payment, he felt like going out of town.
He decided to visit Mehndipur Balaji Temple. He went there and came back after five months. When he came back he looked pale and weak. He didn’t have any clothes with him, and he was severely malnourished.His medicines had stopped, self care practices had stopped. Again, his symptoms got aggravated.
He started laughing, murmuring, couldn’t sleep at night etc. He was admitted again in the mental hospital. His father didn’t want Anil to be at home. He sent him directly to the mental hospital without consulting with Seher people. One of the community workers spoke to his sister and both of them went in the mental hospital to see Anil. Afterwards, his sister Gita insisted with her father a lot. She told him to bring Anil back home.
Sessions with his father have happened. After several sessions with his father, his father cried a lot. He was worried about Anil and he thought mental hospital was the best solution for Anil. Because, no one is here at home to look after him. Everyone is busy with their job so, no one can give him medicines on time, or take care of him .
Anil is a shy person, not really speaking much to anyone, seemingly happy in his own world, doing his own thing. A number of interventions were carried out with him, and self care practices helped him the most. Nazia and Pratik worked closely with Anil on this- chanting prayers with him, singing songs, drumming, going out together to roam in the community, doing breath exercises, stretches, drawing, playing games- he would happily and fully participate in these activities.
These were the times when he would be most interactive. On these occasions, he became somebody with whom we could connect very well to.
We struggled a lot to work with his family and continue to do so. There are chronic issues of neglect in his family. There is nobody who is willing to take on role and responsibility of a caregiver.
We linked him up with a community mental health volunteer who provides emotional support to him, monitors his medicines, alerts us in case of crisis, tries motivating his family to support him and care for him and takes self care practices with him.
He goes to work regularly, at a nearby shop. The shopkeeper is able to accommodate his working area according to his feel for the day. There are days when he works continuously and also days when he does not go to work. The shopkeeper sends his men to try and motivate him to come to work. He goes if his mood changes or then tells them that he would come the next day.
He leaves his home at times, and goes visiting various shrines. He does come back after his visits are over. This is a way for him to respond to his spiritual call and connection to the gods. At this time, he is able to provide for himself, find his way around and also reach his house.
Our work with Anil continues particularly around his family issues.
Anil is someone who is great to hang out with, greeting you with his warm smile, listening intently to what is said, not speaking much yet very much a part of the conversation.
This was story 9. It is a true story.
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