While Abu Hossain, a rickshaw-van puller by profession, is struggling to run his seven-member family with his meagre income, treatment of his 18-year-old mentally challenged son seems a dream for him.
As a result, Rana Islam, the third among five children of Abu Hossain of Shalmara village in Aditmari upazila, has to be kept chained as he has become a nuisance for the villagers, said locals.
To prevent Rana from wandering and for his own safety, he has been kept chained in a bamboo-made shed near their house for the last one year, said his father.
“Rana’s mental illness first manifest when his mother died in 2012,” said the father.
After his mother’s demise, Rana roamed around the village and once he went missing for a year. Later, police rescued him from Bogura.
If Rana was freed, he wandered beyond the house and started abnormal behaviour with villagers. Later, he could not return home alone.
The situation gets out of control when children in the village chased him and threw stones at him.
Finding no other alternative, Rana was kept chained to a betel nut tree beside the bamboo shed, said Hossain.
Sometimes people assault Rana when he tries to close to them, said his grandfather Hazrat Ali.
It is tough for him to arrange his son’s treatment due to financial hardship, said Hossain.
Rana’s stepmother Basira Begum said Rana could be recovered if treated properly but they are unable to bear his treatment cost.
If someone comes forward for his treatment, Rana could be recovered, she said.
Hafizur Rahman Hafiz, a member of Bhelabari Union Parishad (UP), said Rana has to be kept chained, otherwise he becomes restless and the situation gets out of control at one stage.
The UP member also appealed to generous people for financial assistance for Rana’s treatment.