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World Mental Health Day: Every sixth person in India needs mental-health help

According to the NMHS survey, people in the lower income group suffer more from mental health problems and these are the people with least access to mental health treatment. Have you ever thought that the maid who works in your home, the sweeper who keeps your lane clean, and the rickshaw-puller who takes you places needs mental health treatment support? Poverty, domestic violence, alcohol and drug addiction and the very stigma of being underprivileged takes a toll on these people.

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India is standing on the threshold of a mental health epidemic with a greater number of people affected by mental health issues in the country than the entire population of Japan.

According to 2015-16 National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) survey, every sixth person in India needs mental-health help. To compound the problem, India has just about 5,000 psychiatrists and less than 2,000 clinical psychologists. And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

According to the NMHS survey, people in the lower income group suffer more from mental health problems and these are the people with least access to mental health treatment. Have you ever thought that the maid who works in your home, the sweeper who keeps your lane clean, and the rickshaw-puller who takes you places needs mental health treatment support? Poverty, domestic violence, alcohol and drug addiction and the very stigma of being underprivileged takes a toll on these people.

Another point is that mental health problems can affect all age-groups. What is really worrying is that, today, India’s children and youth are more stressed and suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and performance issues more than ever before. If our children and youth are not mentally strong, how can we build a strong nation?

Also, the common man is over-stressed with family responsibilities and work pressure, and has less time to socialise and de-stress. Road rage is becoming common. Couples in unhappy marriages are growing but never go to a marriage counsellor. Children are growing up with both parents working, sometimes in different cities, and the close knit joint family system is dying out. Family counselling is an unheard of concept in India. While social media keeps people connected, it builds additional pressure to project only the best.

Despite this alarming scenario, mental health continues to be a taboo topic with immense stigma attached to it. While people brag about their medical conditions like heart disease, surgeries, ICU stays and the like, they treat a mental health problem like a guilty secret to be pushed under the carpet. People do not know the difference between a mental health issue and madness. Also, our films and comedy shows have stereotyped mental health as something that is either dangerous or something to be ridiculed.

Also, despite the Mental Health Care Bill 2016 mandating state governments make mental healthcare affordable for all, the cost of treatment continues to be high and beyond the reach of the common man. No wonder mental health schemes and mental healthcare are not so advanced in India, as in the Western world.

India needs web-based online portals such as the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) to reach out to its vast population. More affordable treatment options are required, along with affordable rehabilitation centers like the National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) which received cabinet approval earlier. Mental health awareness campaigns are the need of the hour.

Today, we need to open up and talk about mental health problems. We need to teach our young that having a mental health issue is as normal as having a cold. They need to talk freely and support their peers. The country needs to advance not just in technology but in the way it approaches and accepts mental health issues as part of everyday life.

The time to begin is now.

IANS

India

India walks out of UN General Assembly as Imran begins attack

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Imran Khan at UNGA

United Nations, Sep 25 : The Indian delegate at the UN General Assembly Session on Friday walked out when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan began his diatribe in his speech.

First Secretary Mijito Vinito, who was at the second seat on the first row of the Assembly chamber, got up and left as Khan began his attack on India by focusing on the RSS before bringing up Kashmir.

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India

CPM cadres protest farm bills across Andhra Pradesh

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CPIM Worker Protest Farm

Amaravati, Sep 25 : Thousand of Communist Party of India Marxist (CPM) workers in Andhra Pradesh are protesting the new farm bills which the Parliament cleared recently, accusing them of being anti-farmer and in favour of business corporations.

“The farm bills will cause great injustice to farmers. Though many political parties opposed their passage, the government still passed them forcibly,” senior AP Communist Party leader Gorla Ramakrishna told IANS.

He said that earlier when people used to hoard agriculture products to manipulate market prices, the government used to raid such hoarders to bring order and protect the farmers.

However, he said these farm bills will create massive asymmetry, pitting ordinary farmers against corporate giants armed with the wherewithal, cold storage, transportation facilities and others to literally rule the market.

The Left leader said that a farmer always strives to sell his produce and repay the debts he has incurred while cultivating the crops.

“A farmer does not have infrastructure to even store his produce for even 10 days. He will be in a hurry to repay his debts. With these new bills, all the powers will now go into the hands of middlemen and corporates,” said Ramakrishna.

He said the corporates can easily move massive amounts of farm produce from state to state to cash in on market uncertainties.

“A real farmer will not benefit with these bills. Not only a farmer, even a buyer will suffer as the middlemen and corporates will create artificial shortage of farm produce to make a killing,” the CPM leader observed.

Importantly, Ramakrishna alleged that middlemen and other market forces who used to stealthily hoard farm produce until now which do it legitimately with these bills allowing them.

“Before the introduction of these bills, hoarders used to illegally store farm produce with fear which will now get legitimised. Now all the people with financial muscle will do it deliberately. Ordinary farmers and buyers will be the losers,” he lamented.

The senior leader said CPM started resisting these bills right from the time they were proposed.

Farm bills aside, Ramakrishna has also expressed his displeasure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his policies which according to him are benefiting the rich corporates and cronies.

“Especially during the Coronavirus time, we have seen how a person rose up in the billionaire rankings. What does it show? See how the fuel prices have increased. It is our anguish that this government is not caring for the farmers and the common man,” he said.

He disapproved of the farm bills, saying that corporate companies, foreign entities and others will take advantage of the privileges they accord them.

He said the country will have to contend with corporate farming in the future when small farmers will be forced to give up their profession for large corporates to emerge and carry out corporate farming.

“Nowadays labourers are increasing. There is no truth in the claims made by some people that labourers are not available. What will happen to the farmer who gives up agriculture? He is becoming a labourer,” he said.

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Entertainment

Javed Akhtar takes a dig at news channels for ignoring farmers’ protests: ‘If Karan Johar had invited some farmers to his party…’

Javed Akhtar took a dig at news channels and sarcastically remarked that if Karan Johar had invited farmers to his party, they would not have to choose between covering Bollywood and the farmers’ protests.

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Javed-Akhtar

Javed Akhtar took a dig at news channels prioritising Bollywood’s alleged drug links over the farmers’ protests in their coverage. The lyricist sarcastically remarked that if Karan Johar had invited farmers to his party, ‘life would have been easier’ for the channels, as they would not have to choose between Bollywood and the farmers’ protests.

“If Karan johar had invited some farmers too for his party life would have been easier for our TV channels.They would not have had to choose between farmers protest and Karan’s party!. it seems that Karan’s do is the second most favourite PARTY of our channels,” he wrote.

On Friday, more than 200 farmers’ groups across the country blocked roads and organised rallies in protest against three controversial farm bills passed in the monsoon session of the Parliament. The farmers worry that the new laws could potentially dismantle the current Minimum Support Price (MSP) system and leave them vulnerable to exploitation by agribusinesses.

Meanwhile, a video taken at one of Karan’s house parties last year has been under fresh scrutiny amid an investigation into Bollywood’s alleged drug links. Politician Manjinder Singh Sirsa renewed his claims that it was a ‘drug party’ and filed a complaint with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) earlier this month.

The video featured a number of prominent Bollywood personalities, including Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Vicky Kaushal, Arjun Kapoor, Malaika Arora, Shahid Kapoor, and filmmakers Zoya Akhtar and Ayan Mukerji. However, none of them were seen consuming drugs in the clip.

The NCB found evidence of a potential drug racket in Bollywood, while investigating the drugs angle in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. His girlfriend, Rhea Chakraborty, was arrested earlier this month on charges of procuring drugs. She has been remanded to judicial custody till October 6.

Names of several Bollywood celebrities have come up in the investigation. The NCB has issued summons to Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh and Shraddha Kapoor. Reports suggest that 39 more Bollywood celebrities are under the scanner.

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