Mentally challenged in shackles for past 12 years

Lamjung, February 13:

Thirty-two-year-old Baburam Bhandari, a resident of Simpani Village Development Committee-8, Lamjung, has been chained for the last 12 years. Bhandari is mentally handicapped, but his family is not able to afford his treatment.

Baburam’s parents spent a lot of money on shamans hoping to cure their son’s disease. He was also taken to the Patan Mental Hospital for treatment. Though he was cured for a time being, Baburam relapsed as his parents were unable to fund further treatment. “As he was out of control, we were compelled to chain him,” said his father, Janga Bahadur, adding: “Baburam’s illness started in 2050 BS. Now no family member goes near him due to his aggressive nature.”

Bhandari is being kept on the first floor of the house with both his hands and legs chained. If freed, Bhandari becomes aggressive, family members said.

Two years ago, the family was compelled to pay compensations to a girl whom Baburam manhandled. Baburam’s family has asked for help from different government and non governmental organisations for his treatment. But to no avail. The family is hard pushed to sustain itself without having to look after Baburam. “We are old and the condition of our young son is deteriorating. No one is helping us,” said Bishnu Maya, Baburam’s mother.