A 12-year-old mentally challenged boy, shackled for 8 years

RAJASTHAN: A mentally challenged boy aged 12 years has been kept shackled with chains and ropes in his house for eight years as the family is not in a condition to afford his treatment, said his father on Thursday.

Pankaj Meghwal, a resident of Sigada village near Mandawa town in Jhunjhunu district, some 200 km from Jaipur, has been kept confined to the four walls of a room for all these years, his father Bhanwar Lal Meghwal told IANS while seeking government help for his treatment.

“He was a normal kid till he was four. One day he suddenly started trembling and screaming. He was sick for a few days and then he never behaved normally,” said Meghwal, working as a clerk in a private school.

“As the expensive treatment in cities yielded no results, we were forced to keep Pankaj in chains or tied with ropes,” lamented the boy’s father.

He also told that Pankaj suddenly clinched his jaws and turned violent, as if he was in some kind of shock or trauma.

“This condition became frequent over the years. He would throw stones and try to cause harm to people passing by our house,” added Meghwal.

“The villagers started complaining. They told us to keep Pankaj under control. He would also throw around household items in fits of rage. We had no option but to keep him tied,” said Meghwal.

Meghwal grieved that it was painful to their child, Pankaj chained. “We cry when we see our other two children play around him,” he said.

Meghwal said all his savings were spent on Pankaj’s treatment. “I am still to spending over Rs.3,000 a month on his medicines,” he added.

He told that all his efforts to get government help went wasted.

“I went to every administration officer in the area for help, but nothing has been done,” he grieved.

“I request the government once again to help my family,” said Meghwal.

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