New Delhi: It's been ten years but 40-year-old Smriti hasn't given up on her mother who seems to have disowned her, for being mentally ill. After eight years of treatment, Smriti was declared fit to go home two years ago.
Smriti Nath, the patient laments, "My mother has disowned me but I love her a lot and most importantly I miss her a lot".
Rupali's mother even issued a legal notice to the hospital threatening to sue them if they try to contact her.
Dr Nimesh Desai, director Institute Of Human Behavior And Allied Sciences says, "Smriti was diagnosed with bipolar syndrome - a kind of psychiatric illness in which the patient suffers mood swings. It can be easily controlled and treated successfully. Smriti could well be functioning normally in the society".
There are at least 60 such patients alone right here at Institute Of Human Behavior And Allied Sciences who've been abandoned by their families.
Some have been staying here since 1979. This isn't something confined to Delhi - in the 42 officially registered mental health institutions across the country, 50 - 80 per cent of beds are occupied by what are called long-stay patients, who doctors say have been treated successfully.
And thousands continue to stay in hospitals like this across the country, and they're the lucky ones, with a place to stay despite their families' indifference.