Chennai

Vegetables to be grown at Institute of Mental Health, will be sold to government hospitals

Livelihood plan: Minister Ma. Subramanian and other officials visiting the Institute of Mental Health on Friday.   | Photo Credit: K.V. Srinivasan

Steps will be taken to cultivate vegetables on the campus of the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), and they will be supplied to major government hospitals in the city, Health Minister Ma. Subramanian said.

Noting that many residents of IMH had improved with treatment but had no place to go due to lack of acceptance and neglect by families, he said, “We will bring such residents together and take steps to raise vegetables on the vacant lands available on the campus... We found that tapioca, varieties of plantain, lady’s fingers and brinjal grow well on the campus.”

The vegetables raised would be supplied to major hospitals, such as the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, the Government Omandurar Medical College Hospital, the Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital, the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital and the Government Royapettah Hospital, he told reporters after inaugurating both the Rvive Cafe, a business run by residents of the IMH, and the World Suicide Prevention Day event on Friday.

“These hospitals purchase vegetables from outside to prepare meals. So, it has been decided to raise vegetables in the IMH campus in order to supply them. The profit from the sale will be deposited in the bank accounts of the residents,” he said. The Minister added that work would commence soon in coordination with the Agriculture Department and the Greater Chennai Corporation.

He said A. Vetriazhagan, MLA (Villivakkam), had put forward the need to upgrade the IMH on a par with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, in the Assembly. “The IMH is spread over 47 acres of land. More than 20 acres is vacant. We will develop it as a mental health research centre and hospital. We will take this forward to the Chief Minister,” he added.

Ban on cow dung powder

In line with World Suicide Prevention Day, the Minister said that the State government would take steps to ban production of cow dung powder, the consumption of which had turned fatal. “As a commercial venture, cow dung powder is being manufactured as a poisonous substance now… We will take this to the notice of the Chief Minister, and soon ban firms producing cow dung powder in Tamil Nadu,” he said.

In addition, shops selling pesticides should store such products safely in lockers, he said, adding: “Government Orders to prevent display of such products in shops and sale to individual buyers would be issued soon.”

(Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.)

COVID-19 Norms flouted

Mr. Subramanian said norms were laid down permitting 50 persons for marriages and 20 persons for funerals.

“But the public are not adhering to such norms. We continue to see 500 to 600 persons attending weddings and 200 to 300 persons attending funerals. The police department, the Corporation and other local bodies are enforcing norms but people should cooperate. Only if we comply with norms can we prevent a third wave of infections,” he said.


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 10:43:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/vegetables-to-be-grown-at-institute-of-mental-health-will-be-sold-to-government-hospitals/article36528200.ece

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