Two schizophrenic men, who were illegally housed in unsanitary conditions by a couple, were rescued on Friday with the help of the South Indian Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM). The caretaker Marigowda is allegedly a former attender at National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).
Marigowda, 60, who retired from NIMHANS more than a year ago, allegedly met Shivanna, 43, and Ravikumar, 35, both from Bangalore, who were brought to the hospital for treatment in 2011 by their families.
When members of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and SICHREM raided Marigowda’s house, they found that the two men had been living in squalid conditions for nearly 18 months. On the floor above his neat and furnished house, Marigowda had built a shed and kept the two men there.
“Marigowda was charging each family between Rs 6,000 and Rs 10,000 to take care of the two men. Keeping people under illegal confinement violates a few sections of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said Prakash Cariappa, fact-finding coordinator, SICHREM. He said that Marigowda offered to help the family members in taking care of the two men. “They are both from wealthy families and agreed to this. Marigowda and his wife kept them in a shed on their terrace,” Cariappa said.
“The men were kept in pathetic conditions as the shed was very unhygienic and had only one cot and an open toilet,” he added.
C G Hunagund, member, SHRC, told Express that Marigowda did not have the required qualification and eligibility to home the two patients. “He had no license and took no professional help to take care of the patients. We will recommend government action to be initiated against him,” he said.