March 2018

Bringing peace of mind

There are thousands of people in India who fight all odds to attain peace of mind, but not all succeed. BG's story gives hope to all those warriors

Resilience is helping BG and his companions attain happiness and peace

BG (name changed), a 17 year-old boy from Hubli, was diagnosed with psychosis NOS, and was admitted to the Nagpur Regional Mental Hospital (NRMH) in August 2015. He was found on the streets of Nagpur in a violent condition and brought by the police for admission. Since the last two years, he was being treated at NRMH and after recovery from his acute phase, his symptoms have gradually abated. As he is a minor, the institution did not send him to any social agency or child reform home. His responsibility was given to a psychiatric social worker till the time his family responded to the hospital’s calls. At last, his grandfather responded to a call, but he refused to take responsibility for BG.

According to the story shared by BG, his father suffered from a mental illness, due to which his mother had left the family; and BG was taken care of by his mentally ill father, which was unmanageable for him. “When I was in grade 3, I was sent to a boys’ hostel by my grandmother, who would frequently visit me and show concern about my future,” he recalls. During one of her visits, BG overheard his grandmother narrating the incident of his father’s murder by their neighbours.

After he cleared grade 10, BG’s teachers motivated him to take up a part-time job. He began working as a guard in a music school, but after two months of work, his due wages were not paid to him which forced him to steal money from a teacher’s bag and run away from the hostel. This incident disturbed BG and shattered his future plans. During this phase, he came in contact with a magician and worked with him for three months; but this time again he was not paid his wages. This made him move from one state to another as a construction labourer, until he reached Nagpur. All this stress and poverty led to a mental breakdown.

BG recollects that he has his own house in Hubli, but all the documents are with his paternal aunt and the neighbours who killed his father want to construct a temple in that place. A lot of efforts have been made by NRMH to protect his rights. Some vocational training has been imparted to him so that he can earn a livelihood. Through its partnership with NRMH, Tata Trusts has taken initiative in carrying out all these efforts to stabilise him. BG now wishes to go back and meet all his old hostel friends; but at the same time he is also apprehensive about his security. Tata Trusts, under the project UDAAN, is committed to supporting BG to be self-sufficient.

This story has been taken from the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Allied Trusts Annual Report 2016-17.