July 29, 2009 4:26:13 am
Though Sassoon Hospital’s psychiatric ward has an admission capacity of 90 beds,only 60 cots are available. Dr Alka Pawar,director of Maharashtra Institute of Mental Health,has been leading the fight for demanding their share of land at Yerawada for the rehabilitation of the mentally challenged people. So much so that now relatives and patients who have been treated have come together to set up a forum for the mentally challenged persons.
Pawar said the forum members recently met the National Human Rights Commission members and submitted their list of demands,which includes their right to dignity. The Schizophrenia Awareness Association members,who are a part of the forum,have also strongly voiced their demand for more space for setting up the rehabilitation centre.
Dr M Yadav,medical superintendent,Yerawada Regional Mental Hospital,pointed out that at any given point of time,there are 1,600 to 1,700 patients in the institution. There are five to six new admissions daily. However,even if the patients are cured,they often return,as they are not absorbed in the society, he said. There is a prevalence of mental illness in six to ten per cent of the population,said Dr D Nagaraja,vice chancellor,National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences . At least 100 districts have set up community mental health centres and efforts were underway to replicate it at other places,he said.
Pawar said that . Despite the government sanctioning around 90 acres at Yerawada in this regard,only one-third portion is currently with the MIMH,she said.
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