The mentally unstable woman was wandering aimlessly in Vashi on Saturday.
NAVI MUMBAI: A simple text message sent to the Navi Mumbai police commissioner, Sanjay Kumar, through a social networking site informing about a mentally unstable woman wandering aimlessly in Vashi on Saturday, led to quick proactive steps by the cops to trace and rescue the homeless woman.
Citizens and activists have thanked commissioner Kumar and the police team of over 30 personnel from zone-1 for carrying out the late night search for the homeless woman who has identified herself as Sheela.
“On Saturday evening, a young woman in her mid-twenties, wearing a shabby salwar-kameez dress, was noticed wandering near the Apna Bazar bus stop of Vashi, sector 17. When some alert citizens tried asking her who she was, she merely said that her family members are in Osmanabad and Solapur, but she does not know how she landed in Navi Mumbai. Clearly, she was mentally unstable and therefore needed help,” said city activist Rohitt Malhotra.
Along with activists Sandeep Shiwale and Varsha Zhareka, Malhotra reached the spot in order to inquire with the homeless woman. “We contacted Vashi police station. But due to the ongoing pandemic, some of the local shelter homes were unable to admit this homeless woman, Sheela. Meanwhile, she again walked away before the police could arrive. Then, an online tweet message was sent to the commissioner of police to help in her rescue,” said Malhotra.
On the directions of CP Kumar, a police team along with the activists started searching various areas in Vashi for Sheela. Finally, at 2.30am on Sunday, she was seen crouching at Shivaji Chowk since it was raining at the time.
“As soon as we got the message about the homeless woman, our police team from various chowkies started searching for her till late at night,” said an official from Rabale police station. Once her home address is confirmed, then she can be reunited with her family. She mentioned village Manjare, which is near Bhoom taluka in Solapur, close to Osmanabad.
“This incident also highlights the importance of mental health. Many who suffer from schizophrenia and such mental ailments often become lost in the cities as they don’t know how to find their way back. Only a fortunate few are rescued and reunited with their families,” said Malhotra.
Activists have also suggested that an all-India Helpline must be started where citizens can easily call to inform about such desperate homeless cases, so that they can be rescued by the authorities.