Kashmiri man reunites with family at Pune mental hospital after 14 years
Thirty one-year-old Adil Rashid Khan could hardly contain his tears when he was reunited with his family after 14 years at the Regional Mental Hospital in Yerwada on Friday.
Adil Rashid Khan (centre) along with parents Rashid, mother Hamida and sister Nusrat at the Regional Mental Hospital in Yerwada
Adil, who suffers from schizophrenia, had run away from his home in Srinagar in 2002, while appearing for his Class X examinations. Eight years later, in May 2010, he was found in a poor mental state at the Solapur Railway Station. He was then taken to the Pune mental hospital where he was being treated, until his counsellor Mohan Bansode decided to trace his family.
On Friday afternoon, when Khan's father Rashid Khan (62), mother Hamida (59) and younger sister Nusrat (28) arrived with two police officers from Kashmir, emotions ran high. On seeing his father, Khan broke down. Khan, who was 16 years old when he went missing, was unable to recognise his mother or sister. However, later in the evening, he appeared to be very happy and refused to let go of his parents' hand. The family left for Mumbai on Saturday afternoon, from where they will be leaving for Srinagar.
Adil now hopes to sell fruits in his hometown. "I love different colours. So when I go back and sell fruits. I will give the money I make from this business to my father," he added. Adil's father Rashid, a painter by profession, recalled the anxious time the family went through after his son's disappearance.
Adil, when he was found at the Solapur railway station in 2010
Rashid said, "He was the most loved and pampered at home. When he first went missing, I approached the police who abused and manhandled me, and claimed that my son had joined a terror outfit. After all this stigma, I had completely lost hope of him returning home."
His mother Hamida said she couldn't thank God enough for reuniting her with her son. "Despite people claiming that my son had joined a terror outfit, I knew that he would never do such a thing. My upbringing is really good. I am thankful to Allah for having answered my prayers and giving my son back. He still cannot recognise me, but his memory will come back when I feed him his favourite pulav," said the emotional.
Bansode, who helped bring the family together, said he first met Adil at the hospital. "You need a lot of patience with schizophrenic patients, but I was determined to interact with Adil and get him to speak. While talking to him, I learnt that he was from Batamaloo in Srinagar. With the help of Google, I started searching for colonies and areas in the town, and asked him if he was aware of any of the places I had mentioned. He finally reacted positively when I spoke of the New Colony Society," Bansode said.
The counsellor, with the help of the Maharashtra police, got in touch with the Srinagar control room that finally located Adil's family. In a telephonic conversation with mid-day, Adil's eldest sister Rifat who works for a finance company in Kashmir, said, "God is there. He sent some messengers to help us and bring our brother back to us."