Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Let us talk: .More BSF personnel are dying of mental illnesses than in the line of duty,..

When celebrities such as Deepika Padukone speak openly about their struggles with depression and anxiety, it helps reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health issues
Hindustan Times

It is not a sight we see very often in the Indian context. I am referring to Deepika Padukone speaking openly about her battle with depression a while ago. “When I was in pain, suffering alone… I was going about my day, posing for cameras… signing autographs. What nobody saw was that I would break down for no reason …getting out of bed was a struggle,” she wrote in Hindustan Times earlier this week. What made a successful actor, the daughter of a badminton world champion, go out on a limb and discuss her struggle to overcome depression? When I was reading about Deepika Padukone’s encounters with mental problems, I was reminded of the virtually unknown RK Shukla.

Unlike Padukone, Shukla never got a chance to face up to his anxieties and survive to tell the tale. Driven to tipping point by workplace stress, the Madhya Pradesh police head constable committed suicide when he was asked to clean drains on Gandhi Jayanti. Two days later, BSF jawan Dharam Singh shot himself with his service rifle at Sukma in Chhattisgarh, a hotbed of Naxalite insurgency. A few months before this, in separate incidents, three other Central Reserve Police Force jawans killed themselves in a similar fashion at camps in Bijapur, Dhamtari and Sukma.

This spate of suicides in the ranks of India’s police and central armed forces reminded me of a statement that BSF director general KK Sharma made during a workshop on mental health a few months ago: More BSF personnel are dying of mental illnesses than in the line of duty, Sharma had said. What is driving this cycle of depression, melancholy and subsequent suicide? In a demanding profession that entails putting in inhumanly long hours along with the responsibility of safeguarding the nation’s frontiers, the added burden of mental illness could prove to be the proverbial last straw that breaks the soldiers’ back.
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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

22 lakh Punjabis are addicted to alcohol and 16 lakh to tobacco....victim needs barrier free services

#Mission barrier services
Projected number of victims of substance use (Alcohol,Tobacco & Drugs) may vary from one study to other...the truth is all about the suffering of people living with substance use disorder and their family members . Govt. and NGOs need to look at the issue of underutilization of existing drug treatment and rehabilitation services in the Punjab . For example Punjab’s first government-run rehabilitation centre for addicts was opened in Amritsar in 2015, according to press reports the patient so far count reflects its failure to become a trusted facility. This, even as addicts flock to private centres in the city and elsewhere. Not once has the Rs 5-crore, 50-bed facility been filled to capacity. 
According to the PGI study, while 22 lakh Punjabis are addicted to alcohol and 16 lakh to tobacco, less than 1 per cent may be hooked on drugs. The single most common substance used is alcohol (22 lakh), followed by tobacco (16 lakh). The study team surveyed 6,398 households in all 22 Punjab districts, picking 22 cities and 22 villages in each district. The total number of respondents was 13,295, the age group 11 to 60 years. The figures however contradict Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's claimed while addressing a gathering in Chandigarh in 2012 that 70 per cent of Punjab's youth were hooked to drugs. Earlier on May 5, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had set up a two-member committee to prepare a de-addiction and rehabilitation plan for drug addicts in the state. The committee has been set up after studying the outreach model suggested by an eminent American drug therapist and consultant. Amarinder has asked the two-member committee, comprising Principal Secretary, Medical Education and Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, to work closely with PGI specialists to develop a focused strategy to strengthen the states network of drug de-addiction and rehabilitation centres.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Teen Deaths in India...time to change our National Health Priorities for young India

·         Teen Deaths in IndiaFigures provided in the HT article related to teen deaths (Self Harm) are really alarming and provide a new window to look at our National health priorities for young people once again.Today we can see around how stereotypes about people with mental health problems, including alcohol dependence, are portrayed in movies, mass media and press, with the use of derogatory terms such as “psycho” or “nuts” or in Hindi “Paagal”. We see depictions of them as being violent and dangerous people. This portrayal of mental health in popular culture becomes a major source of stress for young people effected and affected by mental illness and addiction. The young people are going through personal crises beyond these manifestations. The Young India has been ignored. These socially transmitted conditions and crisis are not addressed adequately by people around them and policy makers.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

NCDs in India – The problem & the mandate to act

Healthy India Alliance In India, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) account for a staggering 60% of all deaths. The country stands to lose $4.58 trillion before 2030 due to NCDs and mental health conditions. Cardiovascular diseases, accounting for $2.17 trillion and mental health conditions ($1.03 trillion) will contribute to major economic losses. The mounting social and economic costs of NCDs warrant immediate action to mitigate its long term effects.

NCDs in India – The problem & the mandate to act

In wake of growing evidence on the impact of NCDs on India’s economy and social fabric, Health Ministers in India have time and again echoed views of health experts on the need for a comprehensive model for NCDs and mass awareness campaigns. Following the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs, 2013-2020, India became the first country to adopt a set of 10 National targets as part of India’s National Action Plan (link is external) to reduce premature NCD mortality by 25% by 2025. In addition to the set of 9 global targets under WHO Global Monitoring Framework for NCDs, India stepped up to adopt a tenth target of reducing household air pollution (link is external) by 50% by 2025.

A diverse but unified civil society will strengthen the response to NCDs

In 2015, a consultation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from the South-East Asian Region was organized by NCD Alliance and the WHO South-East Asia Regional Office to advance NCD prevention and control in the Region.  The meeting of CSOs from diverse sectors led to the formation of the Healthy India Alliance, with the aim to facilitate active participation of health and non-health CSOs in the prevention and control of NCDs through effective policies, partnerships and programmes. The Alliance, set up by a group of reputed, pan-India organisations committed to NCD prevention and control, now includes 16 CSO members working on a range of aspects related to NCDs and their risk factors, including advocacy, multi-pronged research, policy reviews and health promotion programmes and campaigns. The involvement of well-established and reputed organisations on a common platform like the Healthy India Alliance will make the civil society voice stronger and add credibility to NCD related campaigns in India.

Building momentum: Early Days, Strong Commitment, watch this space

The First National Civil Society Consultation on NCDs in India was organised by the Healthy India Alliance with support from the WHO Country Office for India, NCD Alliance and American Cancer Society from 25th to 27thApril 2016. Over 80 CSOs from all over the country participated in the two and a half day Consultation and committed to join efforts to achieve India’s NCD targets.

Speaking at the inaugural of the consultation, Prof. K.S. Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India and Governing Board member of the new Alliance said,

“The role of the Healthy India Alliance is to catalyse NCD prevention in the country by providing a platform for health and non-health organisations to partner for collaborative civil society action on NCDs under the Sustainable Development Goals.”
He added that: 

“It is an historic moment for the country that the Healthy India Alliance is instrumental at an early stage of the SDGs.”

Friday, August 18, 2017

Share your story on how NCDs affect you...Join

Science knows about the correlation of cancer and alcohol use since the 1980s. The International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC), the WHO’s research body, classifies alcohol as class one carcinogen since 1988.
“Indian society is losing more than it is gaining due to alcohol”
Alcohol can also significantly drain family budgets, since costs for NCD-related health care, medicines, and costs for alcohol diverts the household’s income and resources from ensuring food and nutrition security and from basic education.
the adverse physical and mental health, social, environmental and economic consequences of NCDs affect all, particularly the poor and vulnerable populations. Nada India has been working on prevention of NCDs with a focus on alcohol and tobacco use at primary and secondary levels by using treatment readiness, peer based approach and capacity building of peer led rehabilitation centers.
How are you affected by noncommunicable diseases? Please do share your NCDs story and join the campaign by supporting my story by clicking
Nada India as a member of the Healthy India Alliance sees it as an opportunity to build partnerships for strengthening systems related to alcohol prevention, treatment and rehabilitation in India. 

NCDs affect millions of people in many different ways, from those living with cancers, heart and lung disease, and diabetes, to loved ones and health workers caring for those affected. Share your story on how NCDs affect you.

NCDs & Me website
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The report of WHO Mapping of Indian CSOs for Prevention and Control of NCD is now available.

The report of WHO Mapping of Indian Civil Society Organisations for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases is now available.   Key highlights include:
Resourcing and lack of coordination are the top challenges for CSO response to NCDs in the country

  1. State level CSOs are more enthusiastic about collective action
  2. CSOs outside the health sector have interest, experience and potential to contribute to the NCD response
  3. Capacity building is the priority for younger CSOs, while those with more years of experience prefer advocacy for policy change.
  4. The report also lends insights into the specific sub streams in the CSO movement (by NCDs, risk factors and related issues) that you may find relevant to your respective areas of work. 
Healthy India Alliance ,(Nada India is governing board member ) helped to disseminate survey and gather response. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

State government foisted ‘criminal cases’ on women demanding closure of wine shops in residential areas...

Hundreds of women staged a hunger strike in front of the Prakasam Bhavan here on Monday demanding closure of all liquor shops on the national and State highways following the Supreme Court’s order in letter and spirit.

Leading the protest, National Federation of Indian Women State general secretary P. Durga Bhavani said it was unfortunate that the State government had issued a notification to change the nomenclature of the highways into district major roads to circumvent the court’s order passed to prevent road mishaps.

Instead of restricting liquor shops, the State government foisted ‘criminal cases’ on women demanding closure of wine shops in residential areas, she lamented.

Noting that campaigns against HIV/AIDS and smoking had paid dividends, NFIW State president V. Jayalakshmi said a similar campaign against liquor should be undertaken by the government sincerely to wean away people from the vice.

When States like Bihar and Gujarat could implement prohibition what prevented Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in implementing his poll promise of closing down all belt shops and introduce prohibition in phases, asked All India Democratic Women’s Association district secretary Munwar Sultana......

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Let us talk: .More BSF personnel are dying of mental illnesses than in the line of duty,..

Chanakya   Hindustan Times It is not a sight we see very often in the Indian context. I am referring to Deepika Padukone speaking openl...