People with mental illness in North India face many barriers. Community awareness is limited, psychiatrists are few and general health care practitioners are either unable or reluctant to offer treatment. Further, the stigma of mental illness accompanied by discrimination inhibits access to care. The Roshni (“bright shining light”) Project works to create awareness, provide education and facilitate access to appropriate health care.
37 years old Rajesh, a tailor by trade, lives with his wife and five children in a remote village in Bihar. His life fell apart one day when his land was unjustly seized. He became anxious and confused, stayed out late and developed insomnia. The family spent all their money to help him, even resorting to witchcraft. But it was of no use. Rajesh became mentally unstable, was no longer able to work and the family was rendered penniless.
When the Roshni team heard about Rajesh, they took him to the Duncan hospital for treatment. He recovered and a year later Roshni provided him with a sewing machine. Now he earns between 400 and 500 rupees each day. The whole family is happy and feels cared for once again.