Bhubaneswar -- The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought details about an Orissa woman who was rescued by police last month after being locked in a small dark room by her parents for more than 20 years.
Police rescued Swarnaprava Pandava, 36, from her home in Mahadeipatana village, about 35 km from the coastal district headquarters of Kendrapada, on Sep 25. Her parents had locked her up after she lost her mental balance at the age of 15.
"We have received a notice from the human rights commission asking us to submit a report within a month," district collector Kashinath Sahu told IANS. "We will submit the report soon."
Human rights activists and Orissa High Court senior lawyer Prabir Kumar Das had moved the NHRC stating that the district administration and Swarnaprava's family members had violated human rights by not taking care of the mentally challenged girl.
Swarnaprava used to be a very bright and talented student and had studied till Class 10 in her village. After she was struck with illness, her parents took her to many hospitals, but there was no improvement in her condition.
Constrained by lack of funds, her parents finally locked her in a windowless, eight-by-four feet room in the backyard of their house. She used to be given two meals a day through a small hole in the room.
After she was rescued, she was admitted to the Sri Ram Chandra Bhanja Medical College Hospital. Her condition has improved, her family said.