18th Feb, 2020
Jayamma is 57 years old and diabetic. When she was 13 years old, she was married off to a 36-year-old man. Now her husband is 80 years old and doesn’t work. Jayamma had four children out of which two expired, and she didn’t reveal how. Now Jayamma stays with her daughter who works as an attendant in the post office. Jayamma’s son is an auto driver.
Jayamma used to work as a coolie/mason along with her husband when she got married. That is when she started drinking. After that, years passed like that. She used to quarrel with her husband all the time. She behaved erratically. She used to beat her daughter badly if she didn’t eat her food. She started sleeping most of the time and was having some mental disturbance. She also didn’t take food for three months. Although Jayamma had quit consuming alcohol 9 years back when she was diagnosed with diabetes but she was still having the same behaviour. Her family members thought that she has gone crazy and that she is possessed by some spirit. Jayamma thought that her mother’s spirit has possessed her.
When the field staff, Lily went to Jayamma’s place for the first time, she witnessed some ritual going on in the house. When Lily inquired, she came to know that it was a ritual of exorcism. She was informed that they have spent a lot of money on Jayamma’s condition- exorcism, taking her to temples again and again, and so on. Jayamma’s daughter is very concerned about her mother’s health and takes her to the temple to get rid of the “spirit” that has possessed her mother.
Lily started explaining them slowly and gave them BCC. This helped them and made them realize the situation after which they consulted a psychiatrist. Three months ago, Jayamma was admitted in care hospital for 4 days. She was diagnosed with some mental illness.
Manjula feels thankful for this project intervention as her mother’s condition has improved a lot now and they are also saving huge amounts of money. Jayamma is now leading a good life with her grandchildren. She is in a better health condition and her daughter takes good care of her and supports her.