Churu (Rajasthan), May 20 (Calcutta Tube) He was a teacher and leading a normal life until 10 years ago. Ratan Singh, 36, is now kept in chains by his parents and his wife and children no longer live with him, as he suffers from mental illness and is prone to violence.
He is a resident of Gwalisor village in Churu district, over 200 km from state capital Jaipur.
There was a time when Singh was good in studies as well as sports. After completing his B.Ed, Singh became a teacher in a local school – and that’s what he always wanted to be.
He got married and had two children – one daughter who is now over 12 years old and a son who is nearly 10.
Everything was going well, but destiny had something else in store. In 2000, he suffered an attack of jaundice and an enlarged liver and it was during this time that he also started getting bouts of mental sickness.
‘He used to become violent, beat people and climb up electric poles. We took him to different hospitals, including one in Sirsa (Haryana) and another in Jaipur, and also took him to ojhas (traditional spiritual healers), but things did not improve,’ Surtaram Jat, his 65-year-old father, told IANS.
‘About a year back, he tried to kill his wife with a knife and burnt his degree certificate and clothes,’ said Jat, who is a farmer.
Since then his wife and children have left the village and stay with her parents in Haryana.
‘Initially we used to chain him whenever he turned violent, but for the last year we have had to keep him chained 24 hours as he has become more violent,’ he said.
‘If we release him there is also the danger that he would run away. We do not want to lose our son, at least this way we are able to see him daily near us,’ he said.
Jat said the family was largely dependant on his son’s income, but since Singh became mentally ill, making two ends meet has become difficult. Scanty rainfall has also dried up their farming income.