Even as the Indian cricket team was practising at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday, a unique round of matches was taking place in the city at the Kendra Vidyalaya MEG and Centre pavilion. Six teams of people undergoing rehabilitative care battled it out at the Bangalore Rehabilitative Cricket League.

Teams from six mental health institutes of the city — the Medical Pastoral Association (MPA), the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Cadabam’s, the Spandana Institute for Mental Health and Neuro Science, the Richmond Fellowship Society and the Athma Shakti Vidyalaya Society — participated in the event.

The initiative, started by the MPA in 2010, is an attempt to boost the self-confidence of the participants, who are faced with a variety of disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and alcoholism, or have mental disabilities.

J.W. Sabhaney, chairperson of the programme committee of MPA, calls it a re-socialisation and resettlement programme. “The advantages of using sports as a means of therapy are threefold. Their recovery becomes quicker and better, their relapse rates decrease, and third, events like these destroy the stigma that people may have against our clients.”

Lakshmanan, an occupational therapist at NIMHANS, said sports served as a means of engaging the participants’ attention, keeping them away from addictive substances.

The finals of this six-over a side match saw Cadabam’s beat Spandana by 20 runs.

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