Welcome to ANBALAYA (RESIDENTIAL HOME FOR THE MENTALLY ILL)
Kannyakumari Rural Development Society abbreviated as KARD is the outcome of the initiative of persons committed to the integrated development of disabled persons. But we are very clear from the very beginning that the community shall take care of the target group. ‘Taking care’ here refers to the participation of and the contribution by the community.
Thus the focal point of our strategy is on Community Contributed Rehabilitation of the persons with multiple disabilities. The idea behind the CCR concept is that the affection and recognition accorded by the family particularly mothers – contribute to a great extent towards the socio-physical and cultural development of the disabled.
The rich and upper middle class people can afford trained nurses to look after the mentally ill person. But these mentally ill people loose the emotional security from the family members, which in turn blocks their emotional intelligence. This is the tragedy of the mentally ill persons in our working area-Kanyakumari district.
Before we go into the depth of the problem, it is appropriate here to dwell on some of the basic characteristics / features of mental disability. Kanyakumari district is noted for educational institutions.We have quite a good number of educational institutions – from Play School to professional colleges.Hence people are highly educated. The intention of the people is to remain and work in the district itself and to get a respectful job with reasonable salary, which is imposible for all to get. So unemployment and this leads to depressions which inturn leads to mental illness.We could see numerous mentally ill patients roaming about in the streets, dwell in the bus stand and railway station, sitting at the back of hotels etc. Though the number is alarming, we need not panic. To rectify, it is enough if we launch a concerted community contributed rehabilitation campaign to rehabilitate these persons.
This project idea is the driving force of the initiative of KARD’s CCR approach.
The vision of KARD is to motivate the community people to contribute and participate in Community Based Rehabilitation of mentally challenged retarded persons.
The Mission Focus
- That all the persons are created equal.
- The mental illness is curable if treated and provided medicines properly.
- The mentally ill persons are also the creation of God and hence they deserve concern and love.
- The community has a moral responsibility to look after the psycho-physical needs and problems of mentally ill persons.
With this mission and vision we started this ANBALAYA HOME FOR THE MENTALLY ILL, a residential home exclusively for the abandoned mentally ill women who are also orphan, who were wandering about in the streets of our area. These mentally ill women are brought to our residential home by the well wishers, officials of various departments, viz. police, District Disabled Rehabilitation department, Social welfare department, service associations like, Lions Club, Rotary Club, Religious groups etc.
KARD is concentrating on the orthopaedically and mentally disabled persons in three blocks, identified fifty mentally ill women from the streets of our district and provide them treatment, medicines, basic self-help skills and inter- personal development skills.
The target people – adults mentally ill women hail from poor families, but neglected to deprivation and depravity is due to either ignorance or poverty. Some of them were even chained in the backyard or left to begging for their day to day survival.
Against this background, we have attempted to rehabilitate 50 mentally ill women who are also orphan and left on the streets uncared. The motive is to provide care, self-help education and inter-personal relationship techniques in the center by six well trained staff. We provide meals, clothing and health care support through sponsors.
Apart from this we have established good rapport and working relationship with Primary Health Centres, Government Hospitals, Social Welfare Board, Revenue Department, District Disabled Rehabilitation Department, Banks educational institutions and District Collectorate. We have motivated people of the community to contribute to this project in all respects. A psychiatrist is helping the program by giving counselling to the needed patients. A medical physician is motivated to help the project by treating the inmates during their illness. A few medical shop owners have come forward to contribute to this program with the required medicines on producing the prescription from the physician. The people of the community contribute clothing (both used and new), meals for the day (either one meal or meals for the whole day). A few rice mill owners extend their contribution by providing some rice as their share for running the program. The land, and building in which we have been running the program, is donated by a well wisher – rent free. We get coconut, firewood, banana, mango etc. cultivated from these lands.
It is not the money which alone matters, we need comments and suggestions to run this kind of innovative program. The consultants and the well wishers help our program with their comments and suggestions without which we could not have developed such a model program. They have also contributed towards the need both in cash and in kind for our program, on our request. It is out of the sincere service of our staff team that we have been running the program. More and more sponsors are being tapped by our motivated staff. We are just on the threshold, we know we have a long way to go. We will put our steps carefully to develop our project. We are well aware that “slow but steady wins the race”. We are confident that with the experience and the expertise we have, and above all the report we have developed with the community people and the officials of various department, we could implement the project successfully.
We need to concentrate on creating awareness on mental illness among the community people for its prevention. We need to employ qualified staff, for which we have to pay a honorable honorarium. We need to employ qualified Health worker to nurse during their sickness. Non availability of a four wheeler vehicle is a major constraint to provide timely care / support and conveyance during their sickness.
Here we appeal to the government departments, NGOs and private philanthropists to extend their support on three sectors. The government shall extend full support and co-operation to this kind of innovative type of rehabilitation programs. The NGOs shall come forward to start such models of Community Contributed Rehabilitation programs, by tapping and utilizing the locally available resources. The people of the community shall come forward to be generous to help to rehabilitate the unfortunate mentally ill people, who hail from our own community.
We request the NGOs to replicate the example of this new venture in their own operational area along with their regular programs and project activities.
We welcome visitors to our organization for your suggestions and comments on this program.
Dr. S. Basil Rajan,
RESIDENTIAL HOME FOR THE MENTALLY ILL,
K.K.Dist- 629 202.
04651 221 405.
Ph. No. 7598096933.