Guwahati, Thursday, September 20, 2012
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Ashadeep project to rehabilitate mentally ill
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Sept 19 – The mentally ill homeless people who keep wandering on the streets will very soon be rehabilitated. This project of Ashadeep, a society for the rehabilitation of the mentally ill, supported by the Government of Assam, will fulfil a long standing demand for rehabilitation of the mentally ill homeless men.

The issue of rehabilitation of these persons has been raised by many organizations which have also been demanding a place for the mentally ill homeless persons to recuperate. Although there are legal provisions for picking up the mentally ill homeless, yet there are no such initiatives to unite them with their families or make them self sufficient.

Ashadeep has been picking up the mentally ill women from the streets of Guwahati and ensuring treatment and after care for them.

But so far, there was no concerted effort either from the non-government organisations or the official agencies to pick up the mentally ill homeless persons and rehabilitate them.

The proposed project of Ashadeep ill will come into force from April next year. The government has allotted a plot of land for the project at Boko. The initial intake capacity will be 40.

It may be mentioned here that Guwahati, the gateway to the North-east, has witnessed an increase in the number of mentally ill homeless roaming on its streets.

As per a survey conducted by Ashadeep, there are around hundred and one mentally ill homeless men and women wandering in the capital city. The survey was undertaken a couple of months back.

Out of the hundred and one mentally ill homeless, 15 are women. Ashadeep has been picking up the mentally ill homeless women from the streets since 2005 and many of them have gone back to their respective homes after treatment.

“So far we picked up 390 mentally ill women from the streets and 368 of them have returned to their homes after availing treatment from us,” said Anjana Goswami, director of Ashadeep.

Goswami said that it was very important to make the mentally ill self independent so that they are once again accepted by their families and society.

Goswami said that awareness will ensure treatment for the mentally ill which will ensure that they do not become homeless. “The mentally ill become homeless due to want of treatment,” pointed out Goswami.

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