The days ahead are going to be a bit more exciting for inmates of the Government Mental Health Centre at Kuthiravattam.

The District Literacy Mission, in association with various social service organisations, is planning to take the inmates on sightseeing trips to the city’s picturesque locations, historically important sites, parks, and other entertainment spots. The initiative is dependent on contributions of sponsors.

The aim of the literacy mission is to bring in a positive change in the minds of patients and those who have been cured of illness but destined to remain at the centre as their family is not inclined to receive them back home.

Depending on the sponsors, day trips may be conducted once a month with the cooperation of doctors, hospital wardens, and members of social organisations.

Enjoying trip

On an experimental basis, the mission took 29 inmates to some select tourism destinations in the city on Saturday.

The response, as shared by programme coordinators, was “touching” as most of them were found enjoying the trip as it had been offered to them after a long time.

The Sarovaram Bio Park and the Kozhikode beach stole the hearts of many as it was the maiden visit for most of them.

As requested, the inmates were served their favourite food during the outing.

“We undertook the trip in the presence of doctors, NSS volunteers, and higher secondary school students. There were 29 inmates, including 10 men and 19 women, in the team,” said M.D. Valsala, coordinator of the District Literacy Mission.

Support for programme

“For the programme, we got the support of all doctors, including E. Mukundan, Anitha and Shobhitha, from the mental health centre,” she said.

The literacy mission took up the initiative as it had been conducting special literacy classes for select inmates and was aware of their mental needs. The trip was proposed as a special gift for those who attended the classes.

Separate strategy

The literacy mission coordinators said many inmates had a childlike attitude and it was vital to have a separate teaching strategy suited to their mindset.

“Since the idea of the outing was found a suitable alternative to soothe their minds, we decided to offer it to all in phases,” they added.

The initiative has got the support of National Service Scheme volunteers from Providence Women’s College and students of St. Joseph’s Anglo Indian Girls’ Higher Secondary School.

The District Tourism Promotion Council had offered its support by reducing entry fee to the destinations. The coordinators said the trips would be conducted after ensuring support from sponsors, escorting volunteers, and taking into account health condition of the patients.