RAMANATHAPURAM: Erwadi Dargah committee in Ramanathapuram district has made an arrangement to accommodate at least 50 mentally retarded persons in a separate block in the dargah complex and is seeking permission from government for this purpose.
The Dargah committee has decided on this move following inordinate delay by the government in establishing a mental asylum at Erwadi to accommodate mentally- ill patients roaming in the streets there.
There is a popular belief that the Dargah has powers to cure mental illness and therefore relatives of many mentally-ill persons bring them here for spiritual healing.
Cashing on this belief, some persons ran private asylums around the dargah raking in money.
But a disastrous fire that broke out in one such asylum charring to death 28 persons, made the government to ban private asylums for the mentally-ill at Erwadi.
Following this ban, the government assured that a mental asylum would be established at Erwadi years ago which is yet to be fulfilled. Meanwhile, some mentally affected persons were kept in rented houses with their families seeking spiritual care. Meanwhile, seven persons, including two children, were set ablaze by a mentally- ill woman few months ago.
Now the Erwadi dargah committee has renovated a building located in the eastern gate of the dargah, which could accommodate around 50 patients and the committee is also prepared to provide them food and other services.
But, though the committee had applied several months ago for permission to start this private asylum, the government has not responded. Many mentally-ill patients, left here by their relatives, are roaming the streets like destitutes for food and other help.Therefore, the public in Erwadi feel that it was imperative for the government to grant permission to the Dargah for starting the asylum.
Morsal Ibrahim, executive member of Erwadi dargah Huqthar committee, said that the building for the asylum was ready and all what they want is permission from the government. Amir Hamsha, president of the Huqthar Committee, told to The New Indian Express that the committee had renovated a small building to accommodate 50 mentally ill patients and was awaiting permission from the government.