[AI] Awareness, support can prevent mental illness’

pradeep banakar pradeepsocialwork at gmail.com
Sat Aug 7 23:40:01 EDT 2010

Thaindian News


New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) Awareness and community-support at an early
stage can help prevent the onset of mental illness, experts suggested
They were speaking at a panel discussion commemorating 10 years of
Erawadi tragedy in Tamil Nadu, which left 28 mentally disabled people
charred to death Aug 6, 2001. The victims could not escape as they
were chained.

The discussion laid emphasis on the judicial reforms and social
activism needed in the area of mental health. The United Nations
convention on the rights of persons with disabilities was also

Former Delhi High Court chief justice A.P. Shah said: “The horror of
the incident should have triggered many positive changes. It is still
sad to know that the laws are inclined towards the safety of society
from persons with illness.”

Javed Abidi, director of Disabled Rights Group, said: “We need to look
at the rights of mentally disabled people. They are abandoned in
asylums where they are chained, given drugs that might even aggravate
their illness. Their rights are violated.”

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