Roshini Project


Raxaul, Bihar India

Project Leader:

Mrs. Nalini Khristi


Providing awareness and access to medical services for people with mental illness and helping community members to reduce alcohol abuse and domestic violence.

People with mental illness in north India face many barriers in their search for healing and wholeness. Psychiatrists are very scarce, community awareness is very limited, and general health care facilities are often reluctant or unable to offer appropriate care.  Overall, stigma and discrimination remain powerful influences in the rural villages and towns.

The goal of the Roshini Project is that community members will have more
understanding about mental health issues and that people who have mental illnesses will be able to access appropriate health care. Toward this goal, the team identifies people living with mental illness in the surrounding area and help them to access medical treatment from the psychiatrist at Duncan Hospital. Ongoing education about the illness and its treatment are provided to ensure compliance with the treatment regimen.

The project has developed local neighbourhood task forces, each with four women and four men, who receive education and training about mental illness and how to promote good mental health in their communities. These local task forces are able to help identify and refer patients to the hospital and also help to de-stigmatize mental illness in their local communities.  The team also conducts programs to increase awareness about mental health issues among local health care providers, general community members and adolescent girls and boys.

  • Helping People with Mental Illness in India’s Villages
    Mental illness accounts for 12% of the overall disease burden in India. The actual number of people suffering depression is unknown, but estimates suggest the prevalence rate is about 30%. Of these, a staggering 90% do not have access to care. Providing care for people with mental illness is a huge task. To begin with, … Read more
  • A Story of Widowhood, Courage and Hope
    This is the story of 35 year old S. As is customary in some parts of rural India, S got married when she was 14 years old. Seven years ago, when she was just 24 years old, her husband committed suicide. She had three children already and was expecting a fourth. The sudden death caused … Read more
  • Roshni
    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 … Read more