There are currently 450 patients and 7 doctors at the mental hospital in Pabna. For a country of 142 million where 16% of the population suffers from mental disorders, that is a big surprise.

This shows the government and people’s misunderstanding of mental illness. Lack of social education and age-old social stigma marks anyone with a mental disorder as a lunatic or “Pagol” in Bangla. Patients are primarily diagnosed into either Schizophrenia or Mood Disorders, both of which are curable with treatment and social rehabilitation.

Majority of the patients are cured after a few months of treatment but they often return in a worse state because there are no social frameworks to support them in rehabilitating into society. The subjects of my photographs are not any more lunatic than most of my friends and relatives. Will society accept them as cured patients when they go back home?

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