It will be on the lines of the institute in Kilpauk, Chennai
VELLORE: The Tamil Nadu government has decided to set up an Institute for Mental Health in Theni, similar to the Institute for Mental Health in Kilpauk, Chennai, at a cost of Rs.10 crore, and establish 10 homes for the mentally ill throughout the State, according to C. Vijayaraj Kumar, State Commissioner for the Welfare of the Differently Abled Persons.
Presiding over a meeting of the Tamil Nadu Differently Abled Network on the premises of the Workshop for Rehabilitation and Training of the Handicapped (WORTH) Trust at Katpadi on Tuesday, Mr. Kumar said that the government had taken the decisions and announced the same in the budget for 2010-11, taking cognisance of the inadequate health care facilities for the mentally ill persons at the district level.
The government has decided to establish 10 homes for the mentally ill, at the rate of one home for every three districts, with each home accommodating 50 inmates. Each home would be provided an annual maintenance grant of Rs.10 lakh. The State Commissioner said that under the ‘Meetpu Thittam' (rescue scheme) announced by the government, one qualified non-governmental organisation (NGO) would be identified in each district to identify and take care of the wandering mentally ill persons. The government would be providing financial support to such NGOs. Mr. Kumar said that the Centre had recognised the Indian Disability Evaluation Assessment Scale (IDEAS) developed by an NGO for assessment of the mental illness level of a patient by a psychiatrist in a clinical set-up, for the purpose of issuing national identity cards for the mentally ill. Responding to the views expressed by paediatrician K.V. Arulalan for creating facilities for treatment of dyslexia, Mr. Kumar requested NGOs to come up with a scheme for the government to consider.
The State Commissioner said that the government had allotted Rs.176 crore for the rehabilitation of the differently abled in the 2010-11 budget, as against Rs.32 crore allotted about five years ago. D.K. Oza, project consultant, WORTH Trust, requested the NGOs to play a proactive role in helping the differently abled by solving their problems such as getting family cards and ration articles or obtaining scholarships. E. Vinnarasi Geetha, manager (rehabilitation), WORTH Trust, said that there was a dearth of psychiatrists in the government hospitals. There was a need for an exclusive home for mentally ill women in Vellore district, she said. Thilagavathi Ramiah, honorary secretary, Indian Council for Child Welfare, urged the government to disburse grants in time.