Mrs. Ratnaboli Ray, a recipient of Alison Des Forges Award for 2016 for Extraordinary Activism founded ‘Anjali’, with a vision to establish a world where positive mental health is secured for all. Anjali is a Kolkata-based organization engaged in the field of mental health and human rights and works in partnership with the government of West Bengal, municipal authorities of Kolkata, the media and the civil society across India to establish mental health as a critical development agenda across India. Their aim is to secure large-scale systemic changes in the field of mental health.
Anjali’s work is based on four major pillars; i) Voices – An institution based programme, ii) Janamanas – A community mental health programme, iii) Twilight Claims – Rights based training on mental health care, iv) Advocacy and Alliance for Policy Shifts.
Besides The Hans Foundation (THF), the organisation receives support from ‘Mama Cash – Fund for Women’ and ‘Global Fund for Women’. Mrs. Ratnaboli Ray is the.
Proposal – Dhobi Ghar – The Laundry Room
Dhobi Ghar is a pioneering effort to recognize the potential of people with psycho-social disability. Generally, individuals affected by mental illness are distanced from their basic rights including employment opportunities. While working with inmates of ‘Pavlov Mental Health Hospital’ since 2000, Anjali recognized that though the inmates have overcome their mental illness but they cannot return to their home as their families refuse to accept them. The external environment does not either provide enabling space for the recovered inmates to live independently. The design of Dhobi Ghar is precisely to address this issue directly and through this model establish that these individuals are employable and can live an independent life provided given the opportunity.
THF has supported Anjali since Dhobi Ghat was conceptualized in 2013. The initial support was for procuring the machines for laundry service. It took almost 2 years for Anjali to get support from government to run the Dhobi Ghar within the Pavlov Hospital. In 2015, hospital handed over the building constructed for this. In first year of running Dhobi Ghar, 24 inmates received training and 20 of them are now fully engaged in laundry service for Pavlov Hospital as its sole client. In 2016, Anjali proposed to support 36 inmates which include 16 new people and did it successfully. They were given Rs.350 as honorarium for eight hours of work. Their yearly workload was 1,35,720 kgs and they explored the linkages with other clients in market. Anjali along with consultants developed a business model with achievable revenues. The support from THF is for operation, salaries, consultancy and procurement of another machine.
Asha Ka Jharna (AKJ)
Asha Ka Jharna, founded in 1997, has been supporting children with disabilities, in semi-arid rural areas of north Rajasthan. They work with children with multiple disabilities such as autism, intellectual disabilities, Down’s Syndrome and hearing impairment, with help of their three special schools in Nawalgarh, Sikar and Jhunjhunu. While the schools in Nawalgarh & Sikar are being supported by THF, the school in Jhunjhunu is receiving government grants. THF is their primary donor in addition to the small donations they receive from individuals. The range of services provided includes special education, therapies, vocational guidance, assistive devices, aids & appliances etc. Since its inception, over 500 children have been directly impacted through the special schools and about 250 beneficiaries have graduated from School Board levels equivalent to class 8th from National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). AKJ is proactively involved in advocacy, opinion building among government bodies and networking with fellow NGOs towards realization of its aim. They received “Best National Organization Award 2014” by The National Trust (Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India) as well as “Best State NGO Award 2009” by Rajasthan Government.
Project – Special Schools & Rehabilitation Centres for Mentally Challenged & Hearing Impaired Children in Nawalgarh And Sikar
THF has been supporting the two schools of AKJ at Nawalgarh & Sikar since October 2009. The project aims to support children from 4 to 13 years of age with disabilities to actualize their right to life with dignity and overall development. For achieving these, AKJ focuses on providing special education, integration in normal schools, vocational training, therapeutic services, counselling, sports & recreation. In addition, they work closely with other stakeholders affecting the lives of these children – parents, teachers, professionals, and mass media. Last year 127 beneficiaries were supported by these two special schools.
They are supported by 26 team members of AKJ, which includes special educators, assistant educators, project coordinators, therapists, technical advisor, computer instructors and caretakers. AKJ invests regularly in capacity building of its staff.
The schools are accredited with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for Open Basic Education (OBE) levels equivalent to 8th class and registered under ‘National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation & Multiple Disabilities’, Delhi.
Ashadeep, founded in 1996, in Guwahati, works in the arena of mental health in North-East, India. Mr. Mukul Goswami, who was awarded ‘Padam Shri’ in the year 2014 for his work in the field of Mental Health, heads the organization. Ashadeep works to provide rehabilitation and care at the level of the family and the community, with the ultimate aim of reintegrating them back with their families. This has extended and given a new dimension to family interventions in the field of mental health.
Proposal – Udayan – Rehabilitation home for homeless men with mental illness
Ashadeep initiated this programme for the rehabilitation of homeless men with mental illness wandering on the streets of Guwahati in the year 2013 with one time financial support from Assam Government for infrastructure and recurring expenses for one year. Along with provision for admission, care, treatment and reintegration of these men, livelihood generation activities are also a part of this intervention. The current proposal is a request for continuation of the support from the Hans Foundation for the operation at the rehabilitation home. Ashadeep has proposed for support from the foundation for a period of three years in a holistic manner, building in few revenue generating components, so as to achieve more self-sustainability at the end of the three-year term. During the 3-year period, a total 138 men were rescued and 102 out of them reintegrated with their families.