Report by Michael Rodrigues
Team Mangalorean Udupi
Udupi: Sunil D'Souza , the main man who runs the "Vishwasada Mane" briefed the Press people on Friday August 17, about the four persons that "Mane" had taken care of them. These four stranded persons whom the members of ' Vishwasada Mane' found in Shankerapura, Udupi were taken to the " Mane", and were taken care under the leadership of Sunil D'Souza. Three of them have now reunited with their families , while one person who didn't had a proper home address has found a place in a Ashram in his native place, in Tamilnadu. When the staff of "Vishwasada Mane" had taken the other three to their respective homes, there were tears of joy from the family members, indeed it was happy home coming for all of them.
Prabhakara Reddy from Kolar ; Lal Raj from Bangalore ,and Chinna Pongarasu from Tamil Nadu are the ones who have been reunited with their families, while Palani Swamy from Tamilnadu had to be put in a orphanage with the help of the police in Tamilnadu. Palani had left his house 22 years ago, so he doesn't remember his exact home address.
Edward, a member of the "Vishwasada Mane" after narrating the stories of the three inmates who were rehabilitated, said that, when Prabhakara Reddy was taken to his elder sister's house, they were all happy to see him. Reddy's nephew Amaranath talking to the correspondent of Mangalorean.com over the phone briefed about his uncle Prabhakar Reddy's story in his version:
"It's been 8 years since uncle was gone missing. He disappeared in 2004 April 22 when he was taken to NIMHANS for his Medical Treatment. A complaint was lodged in Upparapet Police Station then. We tried to trace him continuously for 3-4 years. 2 years back his father Narayana Reddy died of sorrow and depression, while his mother Venkamma is aged. We held prayers at the chamundeshwari Temple, seems like the Goddess heard our prayers. Our happiness is limitless. His wife Sharadamma and 10 year old son Bhaskara are staying in their mother's house. Prabhakara Reddy while visiting his elder sister's house in Kolar has identified all of them. He has got his memory back. Earlier before he became mentally ill, he was leading a normal life as a farmer. In 1992 over some murder case, he was arrested and jailed due to false charges against him. this led to his depression and mental stress. He didn't improve despite giving treatment in NIMHANS in Bangalore. He disappeared in 2004, we had no clue of his whereabouts until now."
Another person is Lal Raj, who disappeared 5 years ago from his house in Bangalore (since 4 years he had been in Vishwasada Mane). The team of ' Vishwasada Mane' dropped Lal Raj at his sisters' house in Banneru Ghatta. Lal Raj has 7 brothers, mother-father are deceased. 2 sisters are living near Banneru Ghatta in Bangalore. They were extremely delighted to see Lal Raj. Attributing the mental sickness of Lal Raj to his extensive reading habits, they told that he was studying in PUC Science, and he had lots of dreams. He lost mental balance on a bad time.
Chinna Pongarus is from Tamil Nadu basically. He went missing 8 years ago. He had become mentally unstable over some love affair. After wandering cities, he was found near Katapady in 2007 and then brought to "Vishwasada Mane". His home people while he was in mental stress had given him hard times. His mother died worrying over his situation.But this Tuesday(August 14) when he knocked the doors of his house in Bangalore , there was some surprise stored in for him ! When he had left the house, his nephew ( sister's son) was 16 years. Now he is 24 years, married and has a child. Chinna Pongarus, the rehabilitated person asked, "Whose baby is this?”
On the 66- year of Independence Day of the nation, 15th August, these four homeless folks became free again. Home people feel that they have received a valuable gift on Independence Day. At the " Mane" another 120 people are undergoing treatment . Most of them have recovered up to 80 %, hope that they would recover fully in the coming days.
'Vishwasada Mane' can accommodate only 40-45 inmates. Since police, public bring all these poor and destitute people, the "Mane" still accommodates them on humanitarian grounds. Last week reading the story of these four restoring back to normalcy, hundreds of people have telephoned the institution for enrolling their mentally sick people. Sunil D'Souza, the man who runs this Rehabilitation Centre sticks to his belief that he offers service only to destitute and those found on road with mental problems. His Ashram needing 3.5 lacs expenses for a month, he says the Government should identify him and his caring work for the destitute.
Vishwasada Mane, which was opened in 2004, had been admitting mentally-disabled and homeless persons wandering on the streets. They are given treatment and then rehabilitated. Of the 120 mentally-disabled persons treated by it, nearly 80 per cent have recovered. The centre had sent back 102 mentally-challenged persons from different parts of the country back to their homes after treating them. The centre opened an old age home one-and-a-half years ago.
Vishwasada Mane had 215 inmates, including 120 mentally-disabled persons, 12 senior citizens, four persons with disabilities and 53 children. The centre had more inmates than permitted by the rules. “But when people, politicians and police call and request us to help people in trouble, we cannot ignore their requests,” the pastor said.
In spite of all its good work, Vishwasada Mane’s request for subsidized rice and sugar from the government had not met with any success. “If the government helps us a bit, we can do more for people in distress,” he said.