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An initiative to trace the relatives of destitute and mentally ill persons in trichy

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A novel initiative to trace close relatives of 51 destitute and mentally ill persons, who were rescued and subsequently accommodated in the home run by Anbalayam in the city, has yielded positive results in some cases. Tiruchi Rural Police joined hands with Anbalayam in the bid to locate the near ones of the mentally ill persons at a programme organised in a wedding hall inside the District Armed Reserve premises here. Since the mentally ill persons, including 23 women were from north Indian states as well, the organisers involved personnel of the Railway Protection Force and the Central Industrial Security Force to interact with them in their native tongue. Superintendent of Police, Tiruchi, Ziaul Haque, who was present at the programme, interacted with a some north Indian women in Hindi in a bid to ascertain the location of their near ones.

There were some mentally challenged from Tamil Nadu as well.“Officials who knew the native language of the mentally ill were called for the programme to make them comfortable and elicit information from them,” said T.K.S. Senthil Kumar, founder of Anbalayam. The mentally ill persons were brought to the venue where the RPF and CISF personnel besides government and police officials had a talk with them to ascertain their name and family details. The main objective was to eventually reunite the wandering mentally ill with their near ones after ascertaining the location from the affected persons, said Mr. Senthil Kumar.

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Deputy Inspector General of Police, Tiruchi Range, V. Balakrishnan said, the initiative yielded positive results as addresses of 13 persons were located. This included few from Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. In one case, Tiruchi police was not only able to locate the near ones of a middle-aged woman from Madhya Pradesh but also managed to establish contact with them through video call by contacting the police of that State. “It was yet another attempt to reunite the mentally challenged with their family, said the senior police official.

The initiative was very encouraging, he said adding that steps would now be taken to trace the relatives of the affected persons. Buoyed by the initiative, the police now planned to conduct such initiatives at periodical intervals, Mr. Balakrishnan said.

(source : The Hindu)

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