Life and work in Hyderabad

Thanks to my host I have had the privilege to combine work with learning about the city which with its suburbs has a population comparable to my country, Hungary. I did some shopping and walk in the market area, combating my fear of height with support climbed up to Charminar (see picture on the left), the most enduring symbol of Hyderabad (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charminar) where I met a guard who knew where Hungary is (I wonder how many Hungarians know where Andra Pradesh, the state of which Hyderabad is the capital city), went to a perfume shop where the owner also knew that Hungary's capital is Budapest.

We also spent time in the Nehru Zoological Park. It was with some regret to see that even in the lion safari some of the lions were in cages. Inevitably this observation triggered some loose analogies between the "kings of animals" and people with psychosocial disabilities. The prejudice, the fear from "dangerous beings", ignorance, lack of reasonable accommodation result in detaining both lions and people with psychosocial (mental health) disabilities.

Work has also been progressing. We made a first draft of a paper on the rights of the child in the light of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and also started to work on an intervention to challenge the wide-spread use of unmodified electroshock (http://www.camhindia.org/campaign_against_direct_ect.html), that is electroshock without anaesthesia and muscle relaxation, exactly the one which was powerfully imaged in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and which is identified by among others the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Bapu Trust had already sent a submission on te issue to the Indian Supreme Court, but then, because of the then progressing negotiations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities a delay was asked for the court process. Now that CRPD entered into force and India has both signed and ratified this treaty, it is high time to resubmit the intervention.

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