Gomes women may stay in JJ for 2 months
2 October 2009
MUMBAI: "Lock the doors,'' shouted the cleaning attendant wheeling his trolley out of the ground-floor psychiatry ward no. 33 in J J Hospital, Byculla. Beyond this locked iron door, which has a small window with grills to facilitate minimum communication, is a long corridor that leads to another door that opens into the psychiatry ward. This is where the three women from the Gomes family are admitted for psychiatric rehabilitation. "Nobody is being allowed to meet them,'' said a nurse.
Another nurse admitted that they "are eating today and even smiling once in a while''. Dr Rajeev Haridas, head of J J Hospital's psychiatry department, and Dr Yusuf Matcheswalla have been attending to their treatment, said a staff member. An uncle and aunt have been around to sign the requisite papers. Medically speaking, J J Hospital sources reveal that "the women are in a state of psychosis''. Psychosis is a broad term to denote a serious mental disorder involving loss of contact with reality along with hallucinations or delusions. When contacted, Dr Matcheswalla said: "Their treatment has started and we are evaluating them.''
"The women may stay in J J Hospital for 45 to 60 days,'' said a doctor who didn't want to be identified. Psychiatric rehabilitation in most cases would anyway take a month, added the doctor.
Incidentally, the Gomes women were initially taken to KEM Hospital in Parel for an evaluation. "Our doctors found that the women were suffering from schizophrenia and needed admission. As it was not possible at our hospital, we sent them to J J Hospital,'' said Dr Shubhangi Parkar, head of the psychiatry department, KEM. Schizophrenia is a severe mental disease, which is characterised by the hearing of voices. In fact, the NGOs that helped the Gomes women had claimed that their father, Francis, was himself a paranoid schizophrenia patient who felt that his daughters would be raped if they stepped out of home.