Sinlung /
12 April 2012

Assamese Doctor's Schizophrenia Documentary Goes Global

Guwahati, Apr 12 : A London-based Assamese general medical practitioner's documentary film "From London with love, a doctor's message home" has been selected for screening at New York International Film Festival to be held at Los Angeles, America from April 12 to 19. Dr Ranen Sarma's documentary film will be screened on the concluding day of the New York International Film Festival, 2012.

The organizers of the film festival decided to screen the documentary film as it focuses on true stories that reveal the sufferings of millions of schizophrenics in India and also shows people families how to cope with the challenge of schizophrenia.

The documentary film shows how the low-cost but effective 'shared care' treatment has been introduced by doctors to transform the lives of schizophrenics in Assam. The documentary film focuses on the symptoms of schizophrenia and gives basic tips on dealing with the disease, which mostly affects people in the age group of 15 to 30.

Guided by Sarma's principle, general health practitioners and psychiatrists at Barpeta in lower Assam, Misa in Nagaon district and Konwarpur in upper Assam's Sivasagar district are offering to treat schizophrenia patients for lower-than-usual fees. In the shared care policy, a general medical practitioner is constantly in touch with a psychiatrist on the condition of the patient.

The 'shared care' policy put forward by Dr Sarma in Assam is on the lines of a policy by the same name implemented by the British government in England. Sarma is hopeful that the new approach to treat the mentally-ill by a general medical practitioner and a psychiatrist in India will heal millions of schizophrenics in a country where it can take over 100 years for the government alone to treat the mentally-ill.

"From London with love, a doctor's message home" is a documentary film based on Ahir Bhairab (Songs of the Dawn). It is also the first Assamese drama to be filmed in England. The 26-minute documentary portrays the pain of schizophrenics, create awareness among the people and shows that mental illness is totally curable," said Pankaj Thakur, writer of Ahir Bhairab.

Ahir Bhairab, a film on schizophrenics, was also produced by Sarma and the film was a prize winner of the New York Film Festival. The film Ahir Bhairab has been accepted by the British Film Institute.


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