The space to set up the dhobi ghar has been provided by the state health department. This is for the first time when such an effort has been made in a state run mental hospital. The initiative has been taken by Anjali that works to remove the archaic notions and abuses of people with mental illness.
It may be mentioned that Mamata Banerjee has started giving new clothes to the people with mental illness that are admitted to the state-run mental hospitals during the Pujas. She has asked the doctors and staffs of the mental hospitals to be more caring and sympathetic towards the patients.
The technical support for the project has been provided by Sparsh foundation, Calcutta while the financial assistance has been given by The Hans Foundation. The vision of dhobi ghar stands to develop a replicable model within a state mental hospital in partnership with government institutions for providing wage employment opportunities for long staying, abandoned and recovered people from mental illness staying in the hospitals.
Dhobi ghar will employ 24 women and men at a time who have lost several years inside the fringes of a mental institution. They will earn Rs 284 a day for each day of work and the money will be remitted in their respective bank accounts. Besides, the Pavlov Hospital the other state-run mental hospitals are Lumbini Park mental hospital, Institute of Psychiatry, Berhampur Mental hospital, Institute of Mental care and Toofangunj mental hospital. If successful the initiative will be tried out in these institutions also.
A study conducted by the Mental Health Foundation Research has found that a significant proportion of people with mental distress experience discrimination while seeking employment and also at their workplace.
The inaugural programme will be attended by GV Rao, executive director . The hans foundation, Sanghamitra Ghosh, secretary department of health and family welfare, joint secretary Rupam Banerjee and Dr Manjusree Roy, principal, Chittaranjan National Medical College.