When Sunita Jaju, a resident of Satara district in Maharashtra wrote to the Ministry of Child and Women Welfare, little did she know or expect that such quick action would be taken to help a woman with mental disability in every possible way.
We always complain about how the government is not approachable when citizens need help. But it took just one Facebook post and an email for me to completely change my viewpoint about government response.
As I was browsing through Facebook, I came across a post from the Ministry of Child and Women Welfare. I paused for a second, copied the email ID, and sent a mail to Maneka Gandhi highlighting the plight of a mentally unstable woman.
Send in your complaints to Smt. Maneka Gandhi, use #IamTrolledHelp
I had been seeing her for eight years. She wore bare minimum clothes even during the winters. Residents in the neighbourhood used to provide her with food, water and warm clothes but she was not in the mental state to accept any of it. No one saw her using those clothes or blanket.
Within five minutes of sending the mail, I received a response from the Ministry asking for the woman’s description. This was followed by several calls. The entire communication was taking place after 8:00 pm.
I was still not very sure about the proceedings, but the very next morning I received a call from Mumbai Naari Kalyan office. They told me that the local authorities had been alerted and were told to rescue the lady and admit her in the Civil Hospital. But the authorities were unable to trace her for five days. This was when people at the Mumbai office took things in their own hands, came down to Satara, and found her within two hours. The lady has now been admitted to the Pune Mental Hospital, after gaining the required court orders.
I have no words to thank the Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development, Maneka Gandhi and her very efficient and co-operative team, which left no stone unturned to rescue the woman and help her with medical care. If you know someone who needs help in a similar way, you can send an email to the above mentioned address. Now I know that the system works, but we need to work with the system too.
I would like to extend my gratitude towards Ms. Neelam Bharadwaj (Executive director, Ministry of Child and Women Welfare), Mr. Kamble (Mahila Kalyan Vibhag, Mumbai) and Ms. Sunita Jagtap (Ministry of Child and Women Welfare, Satara.)