MENTALLY CHALLENGED > Back to Photo Gallery
   These sons and daughters of the earth have no home. Mentally challenged and in dire poverty, they have lost everything that is of value to the common man- family, friends, money, society and aspirations - even the ability to express their misery and seek support.One can only guess as to what great personal calamity robbed them of their sanity. Disowned by all those near and dear to them, they now rove the streets aimlessly, repeating nonsensical gestures. People pass them by everyday, but as if they were an invisible part of the landscape, rarely look their way…and so they remain neglected, nameless loners.
   The last census board survey in 2001 reveals that an astounding 2.16 million people in India are mentally challenged.  Some of them have been cared for, either by their families or by governmental and non-governmental aid agencies. Yet there are large numbers of mentally disabled people left destitute on the streets of India to face exploitation, harsh weather conditions and the occasional cruelty of strangers.
                                                                                                               Text: Shiva Shakti