Mentally sick boy fettered for eight years

Jaipur, Aug 8 : A 12-year-old mentally challenged boy in Rajasthan has been fettered with chains and ropes in his house for eight years as the family cannot afford his treatment, his father said Thursday.

For all these years, Pankaj Meghwal, a resident of Sigada village near Mandawa town in Jhunjhunu district, some 200 km from Jaipur, has remained confined to a room, his father Bhanwar Lal Meghwal told IANS while seeking government help for his treatment.

"He was a normal kid till he was four. One day he suddenly started trembling and screaming. He was sick for a few days and then he never behaved normally," said Meghwal, a clerk in a private school.

"As the expensive treatment in cities yielded no results, we were forced to keep Pankaj in chains or tied with ropes," said the boy's father.

Pankaj would suddenly clinch his jaws and turn violent, as if he was in some kind of shock, he said.

"This condition became frequent over the years. He would throw stones and try to cause harm to people passing by our house," said Meghwal.

"The villagers started complaining. They told us to keep Pankaj under control. He would also throw around household items in fits of rage. We had no option but to keep him tied," said Meghwal.

Meghwal admitted it was painful to see Pankaj chained. "We cry when we see our other two children play around him," he said.

The boy's father said all his savings were spent on Pankaj's treatment. "I am still to spending over Rs.3,000 a month on his medicines," he said.

He said efforts to get government help did not yield much.

"I went to every administration officer in the area for help, but nothing has been done," he lamented.

"I request the government once again to help my family," Meghwal said.

--IANS (Posted on 08-08-2013)

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