Rehabilitating the less fortunate

WHAT DO retail outlets selling food items or gifts and mental healthcare have in common? You would think they are poles apart. But not at Cadambam's.

Living a life of oblivion, ostracised by society, and rejected by family members, patients who have recovered from mental illnesses are most often isolated. Shunned by employers and disregarded by friends, they have nowhere to go.

The Cadambam's Home for the Mentally Disabled Trust has come out with a novel scheme, Neeraja (Lotus). The scheme, implemented through the Cadambam's Residential Centre for Psychosocial Rehabilitation, will help rehabilitated mentally ill patients to stand on their own feet and integrate themselves with the mainstream. At the same time, they will be trained so that they can hone their business skills, bring out their eclipsed talents and vocational skills, and most importantly, boost their morale.

Under this unique scheme, Cadambam's has launched a chain of retail outlets christened Neeraja Your Choice. These outlets will sell food items, gifts, and novelties, which will be run by the rehabilitated persons.

So, you have outlets such as Neeraja Gifts and Novelties or Neeraja Your Choice Food Needs that not only provide your daily needs but also give these less-fortunate souls a reason to go on. Two such outlets have already been launched in different parts of the City. One is a gift shop opened last year and is doing very well. Eight of Cadambam's residents from the rehabilitation centre are involved in its operations. The second outlet was recently inaugurated on Sarakki Main Road, J.P. Nagar, near Rajalakshmi Main Road.

By Sahana Charan