Two days after sisters Mamta and Nirja Gupta were rescued from their Rohini house, their condition remains critical and they have been shifted to intensive care. On Saturday, the sisters were removed out of their home by an NGO in a completely dishevelled, dehydrated, and malnourished condition. It then emerged that the two had not stepped out of their homes or eaten since at least six months.
But what shocked the police and the neighbours was the fact that the women lived with their mother and Mamta's 15-year-old son, both of whom appeared healthy and normal.
Speaking for the first time now, their mother Nirmal Gupta told NDTV that her daughters suffered from a mental condition which she was incapable of dealing with. "Mamta wouldn't talk, refused to eat or bathe. She appeared lost most of the time," she explained. "She restrained herself to a chair and depended on me for everything. She even refused to acknowledge her son as it reminded her of her bad marriage," she added.
She then goes on to say how Mamta had not stepped out of the house for over seven years, but in the last six months had stopped eating completely. After their father's death five years ago, money ran out and the younger sister Nirja too fell into depression.
The situation for the 70 year old mother, with no source of income and two mentally ill daughters who refused to eat worsened over the months. She says she was forced to pull her 15-year-old grandson out of school because she couldn't even pay for his school books. Of whatever little was left she fed herself and the boy, giving up on her daughters.
Dr Samir Talli, a psychiatrist with Fortis explains Mrs Nirmala's helplessness to everyone questioning the mother's role in the slow deterioration of her daughters' lives. "It's a case of urban isolation. They were down to the level of hopelessness, where they thought nothing would change and nobody would help them. Also you have to look at the family on the whole. Two members suffering from depression, obviously influences the others as well. So the entire family was suffering. "