“Project Maanasi at Mugalur” is a joint humanitarian initiative of Rotary Bangalore Midtown, Rotary Howard West and St. Johns Medical College to provide quality community mental health care in rural India. Today the “Maanasi Clinic" at Mugalur village is serving poor women and children with varying degrees of mental illness by providing medical care to patients from 206 villages, 8 districts around Bangalore with a reach of 6 million households.
Mental illness is any disease or condition affecting the brain that influence the way the person thinks, feels, acts and relates to others, sometimes leading to self-destructive behavior and even suicide.
Untreated mental illness is a major concern in middle and low income countries. A study from “National Mental Health Program” shows that 1 out of 10 persons suffer from mental illness in their lifetime. The World Health Organization (W.H.O) calls for urgent scaling up of services for mental disorders, especially in low income countries. More than 75% of people suffering from mental disorders in such countries receive no treatment or care. Depressions affects at least 350 million people and is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the WHO.
In the 21st century, around 70% of India lives in the rural India with limited health care facilities and medical resources. More than one-third of India’s population (35%) is under age 15. Twenty eight percent of the rural population is in the lowest wealth quintile. Forty one percent of women aged 15–49 have never been schooled.
1 out of 3 women in rural India experience physical or sexual violence during their lives, and nearly 70% of these affected women suffer from severe mental illness. Of 43% of married women who were employed, a quarter receives no payment for their work and 12% were paid only in kind (International Institute for Population Sciences and Macro International, 2007).
Common mental disorders among women in rural India are associated with low education, poverty, lack of access to running water in the home, experiencing hunger, and difficulties making ends meet. This may lead to suicide, triggered by interpersonal problems, domestic disputes, and financial problems. Women outnumber men in completed suicides in India.
The awareness of lack of treatment is increasing in rural India especially among women. Mental disorders are highly prevalent, have greater effects on role functioning than other chronic physical illnesses. Project Maanasi is a solution to educate, train and treat women and children in villages in Southern India through humanitarian grants and services.
“Project Maanasi” is a humanitarian initiative by groups of “Rotary Clubs” from India and USA” and “Rotary Foundation to provide quality community mental health care in rural southern India.
The “Maanasi Model” has been recognised by the World Health Organisation (W.H.O) as one of the models for providing effective mental health care in developing nations. Let's adopt this in our community , society and villages and help millions of of our needy patients.
- Ramesh Bulchandani
The humanitarian work of Rotary consists of three Cs:
- Dr. Geetha Jayaram