"Mental health issues are at national emergency numbers in India"
On 25 December, we celebrated the second anniversary of our Manasgram project which provide heath and reunification for people rescues from the street with mental health issues.
Presided over by Pune-based social activist Danish Shah, a music concert, Manmandira, aimed to educate about mental health through music, was presented by the Schizophrenia Awareness Association, Pune. Our inspiration and guide, Ramon Megasay Award-winning psychiatrist Dr Vatwani also shared how he was inspired to work for people struggling with mental health after finding a psychiatric patient chained by shackles n the forest of Gadchiroli. He was inspired to serve those suffering and started Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation. For the last 18 years, 12,000 psychiatric patients have been rehabilitated and reunited with their families.
He further explained that while the number of mental patients in India is approaching 20 crores (200 million), public awareness and treatment are still at negligible levels. However organisations such as his, Eklavya Foundation in Pune, Nandadeep Foundation in Yavmal and now Snehalaya, are providing hope and inspiration.
In recognition of those working for mental health, Dr Vatwani awarded our Bapu Award to Dr Anil Vartak from Eklavya Foundation for Mental Health and the Ba Award to Mrs Nandini Sandeep Shinde, who icares for 200 psychiatric patients at Yavatmal
Psychiatrist of Karandikar Hospital in Ahmednagar and pillar of the Manasgram initiative Dr Neeraj shared how our Manoyatri and Manobal projects have successfully treated around 300 patients from India and neighbouring countries. One of the cornerstones of our success is providing free home delivery of antipsychotic drugs to patients once they leave our residential care.