Mentally ill struggle for life in Dipayal streets

Dipayal, January 24

A mentally disturbed person was rehabilitated from Pipalla market of Dipayal almost a week ago.

Local Dhan Bahadur Bohara said they did not know the man’s identity or where he came from. He had been wandering in Dipayal bazaar for the past six months. Bohara said the mentally ill man would live in the streets and his health was deteriorating with each passing day. “The locals were worried that the sick man would not have anyone to cremate him if he died. He was so sick,” he said.

Pipalla residents had informed District Administration Office, Doti about the man. Later, the man was sent to another place at the DAO’s suggestion. Chief District Officer of Doti Gokarna Prasad Sharma said the mentally ill man was sent to some other place at the DAO’s initiative as the government lacked an alternative for his rehabilitation.

Many people with diminished mental capability have been languishing in the district’s streets. Such people are abandoned by their families as well as the government.

Hotelier Khemraj Bhandari at Pipalla market said many mentally disturbed people wandered in the area. He added that many a time such people damaged goods at the shops, manhandled people, and blocked the traffic in the busy street. As many as seven mentally ill people are seen roaming in different markets of Dipayal.

Chairman of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Doti Chapter Narendra Khadka said the government lacked  concrete policy for the rehabilitation of abandoned mentally unstable people in the country.

“We can either take them to the nearby mental hospital or hand them over to their family members. But as many abandoned mentally ill people are unaware of their identity and family, there is minimum chance of reconciliation.”