JHAPPA, March 14: Unlike other adolescent boys in his locality, lifestyle of Leela Prasad Chamlagain does not reflect exuberance of life. Neither is he active nor agile. Worst of all, tied in chains for 17 years, he has been not only bearing the brunt of mental retardation but also the stigma attached with mental health disorders.
The 19-year-old child of Januka Chamlagai, resident of Rajgadh-8 in Jhapa district, was chained since he was two years old. The mother of four recalled that Leela Prasad showed the symptom of mental retardation since he was a toddler. "He was mute from the childhood. He would not behave a regular child."
Mother described him as a boy whose right hand did not function but would trouble them by moving hither and thither and disappearing out of sight in no time.
"Before people would treat him as a nuisance and before he unknowingly keeps his life at stake in the absence of me or before anyone attacks my child for the mistakes insanely made, I tied up him with chains to keep him safe," shared the impoverished mother who left no stone unturned to ensure sound health to her son. But due to financial constraints, the mother who works as a laborer in the locality has not been able to provide medical intervention.
"Who does not want to provide care and cure to their children but I am in dire straits and have not been able to ensure medical attention to him," explained the mother who is single-handedly taking charge of her household in the absence of her husband in foreign shores for employment.
Worry-wart mother is equally concerned over the care of her son following her death. She questioned, "I am worried for him in my absence. Who will take care of him when I am no more?"