Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Conception of Idea of starting Chaitanya......

It was surely not an Idea by chance to start Chaitanya......It was conceived , nurtured,  thought and very well slept over many years....!

I had my first experience of seeing a mentally ill as a child of  7 or 8yrs.... there were two sisters in my neighborhood who occasionally ( that was discharge on parole from a govt run mental hospital in Kerala) would come home. they used to be very good and so normal for initial few weeks..... during those days, I still remember, they would talk very nicely to us..... caring and kind to every one. Trust me as kids many used to be not that comfortable with them.......but me and my brothers used to be very cool about as they often visited us for food and even did some small little work at home.

All kids in neighborhood used to njoy the next phase of their home stay as they were on their relapse.....! Those times they would sing songs, dance and used to be of full entertainment......( now I relate them to be persons with  symptoms of mania .......) They used to sing, shout and talk in loud voice till they loose their voice.......! they would distribute almost everything they had, used to do double work and used to be very energetic....... I empathise with them.

The next phase of theirs used to be horrifying ....... even the thought of them used to make us shiver.... we never even used to go to school unless we were in a big group....... it was one morning that we were about to reach school. we heard some one shouting loud and it was our parish priest chasing one of the sisters with a stick almost 6ft long.............! The reason..... she kept garbage and made the chappel dirty....! ( I think about many of our patients with symptoms of hoarding ). That sight of priest chasing her was more scary than the poor patients symptomatic behaviour. ( Probably the parish priest must have giver a sermon on Good Samaritan or Jesus curing a leprosy patient a little while ago during the morning mass....!!! ).

Trust me, the next few days or weeks would be really torturous for the sisters.......they would be chained and locked up in a dark room, stinking of toilet and often with no food..... I have seen that a couple of times. Then under the cover of darkness they would be shifted to the hospital...... only to be seen again after a few years........!!!!! As a child, they would remain in my memory for few days and get on with routine until I met them again.......!!!

This is my first hand experience with mental illness. But I never thought that I would end up in 15 years in institutional care and still counting....... of course with care i can provide with a dedicated team of social workers, doctors , psychologists, nurses and other support staff.

In the past 15 yrs we have grown to provide residential care facilities for 600 patients through our centres in Pune, Goa , Kerala and Gurgoan. It would not have been possible without the support of Sushupti, my wife and all my long serving staff..... I would mention the names of a few staff currently working.... Mr. Rahul, Anto and Shiny, Prince, Meljo, Tojo, Jomon, Joy Peter, Siby Mathew, Dnyaneswar, Leny, Shaji Krisna , Joby T raj, Areet, Jinu n Daliya, Ujwala, Philmon, Nishant, Victor, Since John, Kranti, Bahaadur, Karan ,Nebraj .

Dr. Chandorkar, Dr. Chougule, Dr. Watve, Dr. Y A Matchesswala, Dr. Mohan Agashe, Dr. Rohan and Dr. Mahasawade are a few to be named who were kind to stand along with us in this journey.
I strongly believe that you cant build anything without a strong foundation...... Thank you Mathew,  Smita, Brijesh, Rose, Lince, Sinoy, Riya, Sangita, Dhanya for your valuable contributions.


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