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Doctors at psychiatry hospital, NGO come forward for Ahmad’s reunion with family

By Rabiya Bashir

Srinagar, Apr 05: “I am very happy. Today, I will be meeting my Abba (father),” said Zakir Ahmad, who will join his family in Tamil Nadu after spending four years at the psychiatric diseases hospital here.
Ahmad, 35, was abandoned by his family only for the police to find him sleeping inside a truck near the Kargil border. He was brought to the hospital in 2015.
“I am so excited about joining my family after so log. The doctors and paramedics at the hospital took care of me like my own family. They searched my family and joined me. For me, they are the angels,” said Ahmad.
The doctors and the paramedics at the hospital, now called the Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Psychiatry or IMHANS, successfully traced his family a year ago.
The family, however, was unable to take him back due to their poverty.
“Zakir gave us his father’s number. We called his father to take his son back. He was happy, but it was not possible for him to reach Kashmir for he could not bear the travel expenses,” Dr YasirAhmad Rather, a Psychiatrist at the hospital, said.
He said that Ahmad had a Bipolar Mood Disorder at the beginning.
“He is completely fine now,” he said.
Ahmad would be accompanied by two paramedics, Sajad Ahmad and Naseer Ahmad, to Tamil Nadu.
“Before Ahmad, we have already rejoined many abandoned non-locals with their families. He is the eighth one who, after spending many years at the hospital, will meet his family today,” said Sajad.
The paramedics said that Ahmad was very excited to meet his family, especially his father.
“We are searching for families of other four non-Kashmiri abandoned girls and a man,” they said.
The doctors and paramedics at the hospital said that the NGO Athrout helped Ahmad to join his family.
“They have arranged the tickets for Ahmad and the paramedics accompanying him,” a doctor said.
Bashir Ahmad, Chairperson Athrout, said they have spent around Rs 40,000 on the tickets.
“I have contacted the doctors at the hospital. They made me aware about Ahmad who was abandoned. When I heard that Ahmad is fine and fit but he is not able to join his family because they were poor. It was in my mind and I finally helped him,” he said.
He said that, he would have himself accompanied Ahmad but he was busy with some work.