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Aroti & Jari- Abandoned....... yet Life Continues...

Aroti and Jari….the inseparable duo are the residents of Ashadeep’s rehab home for more than a decade. Both of them have come to the centre within a difference of few days. Aroti was rescued from the busy market area in front of the river Brahmaputra. She was sitting in front of a pan shop crying for her mother. She was wearing a white frock, complimenting her innocence. The panshop owner tried to pacify her by giving chocolates and sweets. She revealed her name as Aroti, but could not answer the queries about her home address or the name of her guardians. The local police have contacted Ashadeep, after when our social workers have reached the spot and brought her to the centre. She was around fourteen years of age. Her speech was incoherent. Later, she was diagnosed with psychosis along with intellectual disability by the psychiatrist.

Jari was rescued from another busy area of the city in a very pathetic condition. She was lying under a tree infested by mosquitoes and insects. Some passerby noticed the girl as she was crying profusely. After getting contacted by them, she was brought to the rehabilitation centre within no time by our social workers. She told her name as Jari in an unclear voice. Following her diagnosis, she was found to be having physical as well as mental disabilities along with speech impairment.

A strenuous period prevailed during the initial days while trying to adjust both the girls with the environment, which was not very easy. But, with the passing days they have learned to communicate and have developed a sense of belongingness with the other residents. They have become an integral part of the centre now.  Whenever any visitor comes to the centre, both of them greet them with folded hands, try to converse with them. The sweet smiles on their faces always brightens the ambience of the centre. All our efforts of locating their home and families have gone in vain. Whenever they see me, they cry out saying “Ma, take me home “, and that is the most heart wrenching moment for me. It makes my heart heavy in anguish. I wish someday some miracle would happen when they meet their lost families. My inner mind cautions me, “Don’t ever expect any such miracle. Once abandoned by their own parents, their destinies will never favour them to connect with their dear ones again”, I sighed… even so, I’ll look forward to that day when I can bring the missing pieces together to reunite Aroti & Jari with their families. As I pen down their stories, I wish it reaches across the globe and help me to come to the concluding part of their stories of reunion with their dear ones and put an end to their mental agonies.


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Dr. Anjana Goswami, the founder-director of Ashadeep has extensively covered various aspects of Mental Health in her publications. She has authored two Assamese books on the first-hand experience of working with homeless individuals with mental illness and their transformational stories. Dr. Goswami’s association with Special Olympics Bharat also gives her an insight into the importance of sports for individuals with disabilities, which is often reflected in her writings.

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