Film crew takes over mental health institute

An almost 70-strong film crew shooting at Institute of Mental Health (IMH) since January is giving inmates sleepless nights.

The crew from Shristi Cinemas has reportedly taken over the 218-year-old hospital for the film Vetrisel-van. It is being allowed to enter patient wards despite protests from doctors.

For the past week, the unit has been shooting from midnight to morning, another violation of the IMH order.

However, nobody in the top administration of the institute, which houses at least 1,700 patients, has come forward to object.

Hospital sources said the production house had been generous with “donations”, but none of these “donations” is on record.

“Film crews coming to IMH are usually given strict timings and not allowed to enter the wards — they can only shoot in unused buildings.

But this unit is acting in blatant violation of patients’ rights. At night, some patients may sleepwalk naked. Patients are complaining they are unable to sleep,” lamented a doctor.

A 30-foot pole with halogen lights has been erected and the wards are a maze of wires; all this could endanger patients, he said.

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