Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 24:
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Odisha government to take policy measures for mentally ill persons in the state in order to ensure prevention of torture and facilitate their healing and rehabilitation.
While the government has sought more time to prepare the policy since the coordination of different departments is required, the Commission has asked it to submit a report on adoption of policy measures for mentally ill persons within eight weeks.
“The Government of Odisha has requested to allow some more time for adoption of policy measures for mentally ill persons since the involvement/participation of other concerned departments of government and NGOs are required in the matter. The Commission accepts the request. The Chief Secretary is expected to send within eight weeks a report on adoption of policy measures for mentally ill persons of the state,”said the order of NHRC.
The order of the commission came in response to a complaint filed by human rights activist Subash Mohapatra, who urged the panel to direct the government for treatment and rehabilitation of Babuni Behera, a mentally retarded man of Jogeswarpur, Gop Block under Puri district.
According to the petition filed in 2012, Behera, aged about 35 years, is a mentally retarded person and has been chained for the last 10 years. While his parents have already died, his poor brother is unable to meet the expenses on his medical care.
After the intervention of the commission, the district administration arranged the visit of a psychiatrist to check up Babuni Behera at his house, who advised his treatment at S.C.B. Medical College, Cuttack. The district administration has taken steps for his treatment till he is cured.
The commission has asked the government to take steps for rehabilitation of Behera and his family.