NewsLithon (32) did not survive mistreatment.
Lithon was mistreated by strangers because he was “different”, his health complaints were not taken seriously by doctors and he lost his life.
Lithon, a 32-year-old man with Down syndrome, experienced heavy pressure from his family. He had to marry like everyone else in the family. His parents did not agree and refused to find a wife for Lithon. But he could not cope with the daily humiliation of the rest of the family and walked away. He was lost two days and he was searched by many. When they found him, he initially looked good and he happily went back home.
The next few days, Lithon did not respond as used to, he cried a lot and was very restless, and there were big sore spots on his body. His parents decided to go to the hospital with him, but the hospitals didn’t show any interest to help Lithon because of his handicap. Finally they found a doctor who prescribed Lithon tablets to calm down. The doctor did not ask about his medical history (heart problems and diabetics) and waved the parents away impatiently.
The parents gave Lithon the medication as prescribed, he fell asleep and never waked up again.
This story is unfortunately no exception in a country like Bangladesh. Niketan often sees that young people with intellectual disabilities are forced under family pressure to do things that they cannot handle emotionally, such as work and getting married. Hardly any attention is paid to the well-being of the person with a disability. They are seen as second-class citizens. Doctors generally do not pay much attention to those disabled patients. Niketan and partner organization DRRA are trying to change this attitude, but know that this will take a long time.