When the railway police brought 35-year-old Sattar Khan for treatment to Sassoon General Hospital three months ago after they found him on the tracks,his hair was unkempt and he had no clue about his whereabouts. Little did the orthopaedics treating him for a fracture realise that he was a patient of schizophrenia and had wandered from his native place,Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh,to Pune. It was only after dedicated efforts by the medical social welfare department of the hospital and NGO Shraddha Rehabilitation Home that Sattar was finally reunited with his family a fortnight ago.
For Sattars brother Imran Khan who had given up hope of finding him,it was an emotional reunion when the social workers brought Sattar back home. I work as an electrician and Sattar stays with me. We are four brothers and while treatment for his condition is underway,we dont know how he wandered away. We filed a police complaint and published his photograph in the newspaper. Now,we will have to monitor his activities, said a relieved Imran,when contacted in Kurnool.
Recalls Sudham Thorve,medical social worker from Sassoon General Hospital Sudham,Sattar was brought here three months ago. At that time,his hair was unkempt. It was a heart-rending sight when the railway police brought him. He was found on the Loni Kalbhor railway tracks with fractures on his leg. He had no idea where he had come from. It was only after doctors started plastering his leg and Sattar kept removing the plaster that they realised he was suffering from a mental disorder. The psychiatry department then treated him and within two months,he was able to open up and recollect few details of his life.
The social workers soon contacted Dr Bharat Vatwani,psychiatrist and founder of Shraddha Rehabilitation home at Karjat an NGO that takes care of the mentally ill destitute. They wander aimlessly on the streets and cannot recollect from where they came from and how they arrived at another place, said Vatwani,who has helped reunite 1,200 such patients with their families in the last five years. Soon,the NGOs medical social worker,Vikram Shelar,contacted Sattars family in Kurnool,Andhra Pradesh.
We did not have too many leads,only that he hails from Andhra Pradesh. After treatment and month-long rehabilitation at our centre in Karjat,Sattar was able to recollect a few things,like names of certain areas. Based on those,we were able to contact the family of four brothers, said Shelar.
The reunion was an emotional one,recalls Shelar,who travelled with Sattar to Kulnoor. He is particularly close to his elder brother Imran,who could not control his tears when he met Sattar, said Shelar.
The brothers had lodged an FIR with the police but to no avail,said Vatwani. Sattar was fortunate to receive immediate treatment at the hospital,and it seemed the staff members too had developed a fondness for him during his stay of over two months at ward number 3.