No one is really sure where Saila came from – perhaps from the eastern area of Palpa district, or maybe from further away. He appeared in Tansen six to seven years ago – around the time of the end of the civil war. Saila used to walk the streets of Tansen, always carrying a magazine in his hand, so people started calling him Saila teacher.
Unfortunately, Saila was living on the streets and in caves found in the hills around Tansen. He was not well – he had no family in the area, no one to care for him, and he was suffering from hallucinations and other mental problems. He struggled to be able to find food and drink enough to sustain him. Some people in the town would help occasionally with scraps or small gifts, but most either ignored him or looked the other way.
There was a mental health camp run in the area several years ago, and Saila was seen there. He was given some medications, but there was no follow up done, and he ended up remaining on the streets or in the caves.
Saila was brought to the Mission hospital in February, 2013 by the local police. The staff of the pastoral care department helped to get him cleaned up – even they were amazed at the dirt, smell, and bugs surrounding him! Through the love and care of the hospital staff, and the right treatment and medicines, Saila began to improve. In addition to the medications, Saila was prayed for regularly. A few weeks later, he moved into the newly opened NLPRC as one of the first patients there.
Saila is now free of hallucinations, and has learned to keep himself clean and neat. He learnt to help round the center – cleaning, carrying water, and sometimes going shopping in the town. He enjoys playing games like badminton and cards. Saila has continued to make steady improvement over the years and is now working part time in the hospital sterile supply department and we are trying to find his family.
Eventually, the center hopes to release Saila into the care of family (if any can be found) or to a place where he is able to support and care for himself. In the meantime, Saila is safe and happy in the NLPRC and is learning to be a whole and healthy person again.
Saila and Pun Narayan before admission to hospital
There are others like Saila who are in need of care after they have gotten treatment for mental illnesses. We pray that the NLPRC will be able to help people like him for many years to come.
Saila at work in the hospital