This letter is a little effort to draw attention toward the rural areas where for many decades the irrational practices of “witchcraft” are being followed by so-called mystics to cure mental disorders. Superstitions like curses or trapped in the devil’s eye are being seen as valid. Instead, these are just mental illnesses and need to be treated. Further, the situation is inflammable when the victim and his/ her family go through mental and emotional torture, subsequently, leading to isolation.
In the majority of cases, such petrified families mostly try either to hide or brush it under the carpet of negligence or find solace in so-called hunters of witches. Meanwhile, it is not only a waste of time and money but also a prolonged delay in treatment. Mental health crises happen due to stress, mental fracture, unemployment, malnutrition, and hormonal imbalances. The cure is not mystics, but counselling, mental health check-up centres and psychiatrists to guide in this regard.
The discrimination and stigmas can be countered by arranging seminars, counselling campaigns, mental check-up services and psychiatrists’ appointments or repeated visits in rural areas.
GOTAM MARWARI MENGHWAR,