On December 23 I went to visit Pabna Mental Hospital with my family. There are quite a few broken buildings in that area. There were lots of cows and calves there. The place was beautiful, but was it beautiful indoors? No, I can’t say that. It was really depressing inside.

Why is a mental health hospital a tourist destination? People have minds, so can’t those get sick? We have arms and legs- they can be afflicted with so many illnesses, and there are so many hospitals to treat them. Those hospitals haven’t been treated like tourist places have they? Then why are mental health hospitals places to visit? Mentally ill people are still people, so why are they perceived differently? Why do mentally healthy people laugh at them? Say bad things about them? When I went inside the hospital despite not wanting to, I wondered how those people were “insane”? Apparently those people attack normal people on sight, curse them out? But nothing like that happened. Most of the people said to us, “Brother/sister, do you have any minutes on your cell phone? I haven’t seen my family in a long time, here’s my number, can you please call them and ask them to come visit us?” 

A few people asked us for money to buy some tea and snacks. Those poor folks! They’ve come to the hospital for treatment, but where are their loved ones? They have completely forgotten about them. So should their loved ones completely abandon them just cause they’re mentally ill? Why? Are they terrible people cause they’re mentally ill? They’re so much more talented than the average people. Many of them can sing, and their voices are so beautiful. One man sang a song he’d written, and not a single person there could stop their tears. The song went something like this, “My Muslim brothers and sisters, you’re doing well by Allah’s grace. Please pray for me. Please pray for us. Who understands the sorrow of people who have been abandoned by their families?” The melody of the song made the song even sadder. Another person told someone, “Don’t you live in that place? My brother lives there too. Can you please tell him that I have moved to Ward No. 3? He hasn’t payed a visit to me for months.” Huh! what a wonderful sight to see, right? When you have a body, you’re going to get sick. Nobody can predict who can get sick when. Hospitals are made to treat illnesses, not to display people like animals in a zoo. Are they animals for us to go visit? The general public should be forbidden from going to visit mental health patients like this. Their relatives and families should be allowed to visit them, but not random people. Mental health hospitals are necessary, but it’s not necessary to have random people going inside. I myself am ashamed to go see their exhibition like that. I hope Allah forgives me for that!”




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