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Times of India
31 August 2010
By Ram Parmar

NGO gets 37–year–old admitted to mental hospital; mother says neglect by parents turned him into a recluse
At 9.30 am on Monday, Paras Pandit, from Nalla Sopara, got out of his house after a sevenyear self–imposed confinement. A local NGO put him on a stretcher and drove him to Thane Mental Hospital, raising hopes of his recovery.

(Top and right) Paras Pandit while being taken to Thane Mental Hospital. (Left) Paras in 2003 (Top and right) Paras Pandit while being taken to Thane Mental Hospital. (Left) Paras in 2003
All these years, Pandit, who was depressed, remained mostly bedridden. Unshaven and unkempt, the 37–year–old would keep staring at the ceiling. His 63–year–old mother, Parineeta, fed and cleaned him. So severe was his depression that he didn’t step out of the house even when his father, Purshottam, passed away in November last year.

Parineeta was not able to get her son hospitalised due to financial constraints; she runs the house on a pension of Rs 5,000. Now, Pandit’s hands and legs have lost mobility and he is schizophrenic.

A relative from Dahisar, Vijay Nadkarni, who contacted the NGO, said Pandit had last stepped out of the house in June 2003. Before depression, Pandit was a friendly man, Nadkarni recalled. "He loved his dog, Bonny, and his hobby was riding his motorbike with his pet," he said. The dog died a few months ago and the motorbike is rusting.

Pandit worked as a salesman in Colaba. Though the exact reason for his mental state is not clear, his mother said that their neglect had made him depressed. She said, "I worked as a typist, and my husband was busy with his own work. He was strict, which made matters worse. Our son’s condition is our fault. We were so busy with our lives, we hardly spoke to him, never tried to know his pain, never comforted him. He grew increasingly quiet as the years rolled by. One day, he suddenly quit his job and confined himself to the house."

The family has no money because Pandit’s parents’ savings were spent buying the Nalla Sopara house. Parineeta said, "A psychiatrist did examine him in 2007, but that didn’t help. Now, all I wish is for him to be well enough to be at the crematorium when I die."

R Gopalakrishnan, who runs the NGO that helped Pandit, said, "More than anything, what he needs is love."

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