“Nanhi, was dancing across the fields of daffodil, singing ‘phulon ke mele’, in clear voice, and as she comes across a group of little children (slightly younger than her), she recites out long verses of nature poems in perfect eloquent pattern. A speech which could not be clearer, sharper, and more attractive to a group, at the same time, the voice so melodious, happy, that it sang and spoke…….. suddenly there was a ringing…………triinnnnnnnnnnngg!!!!!!!!!!................. Nanhi woke up, hastily crawled out of her bed, with her head constantly shaking to the right….. her mother came in and asked, ‘Have you brushed your teeth, child?’ to which she replied ‘nnnnnn no mmmm mum, I’llll, jjj just dddooo it.’ Agitated with her own neurological problems and stammering, she spitted her morning miff into the wash basin…” (experience of a 9-years old child from Punjab, named Nanhi..)
We all know that “Bharat Humko Jaan Se Pyaara hai”, but can just missions like #SwachhBharat, really clean up India and make it perfect for our habitation?
It's time, that we, Indians take some therapy for our mental health. This is the need of the hour.
It's time that children like Nanhi, does not dream of a perfection, but actually feel perfect and happy in the Indian society. It's time, that more like her, need not sing and recite in the dream, as to cover up the speech problems they have in actuality, because nobody is bothering to accept and treat them, rather, is mocking them and putting them to a corner with the tag, ‘mentally challenged’, or ‘special child’ and these days, may be, some better words.
It’s important for India, to work towards developing sensitivity for human race in general, rather than working on improved vocabulary, to tag them.
There are several notions that India, and its people need to understand for mental wellness of each other.
It is important to note that people who are struggling with some disability, be it physical or mental, are some like us, but slightly unfortunate, because they may not have the gift of gab to sweep everyone off their feet, or may not be able to actually shake their belly to #HipsDontLie.
But it is important for them to assess their self-worth and reconstruct themselves in a new way, in which they can reflect their creativity better.
But when India, still bears the stigma on issues like virginity and rape, how can mental health be promoted among individuals of the nation, especially the victims of such incidents, who are fighting to regain mental stability?
It is essential, that taboos, and misconceptions be removed from society, so that victims, who have suffered a trauma, do not have to go through a greater trauma again, while trying to breathe properly in this society. Programs should be promoted to help people understand the problems and pain of #VictimsOfTrauma.
Prejudice and misconception is a global problem.
People struggling with some kind of fear and anxiety should be approached sensitively. Sometimes, the person in anxiety can utter misconstrued ideas, or haphazard words. Generally, people avoid them with an attitude of rejection, calling them ‘mad’ or ‘eccentric’. Basically, any behaviour, which does not match with the majority, is tabooed as abnormal.
On this ground, a person who is more able intellectually and can frame up ideas, yet not cultivated, are also ‘mad’, for e.g. Einstein was also mad as according to general people.
A person who is against social customs, and likes to lead life individually is also ‘mad’.
But this kind of rejection or prejudice, can have deep impacts on the mental health of an individual. It is important to acknowledge each other’s strength and understands the weaknesses, in order to be in good mental health. Making someone feel small, weak or retarded cannot prove us stronger. In fact, it portrays the poor understanding and mental ability that we possess, which urges us to stigmatize someone, in order to establish ourselves and our behaviour, as normal and better.
Only education can enlighten nations. Prejudice and self-constructed ideas, flow down like an epidemic disease. Removing it, is a great task. Education and awareness about mental health is very important.
Even today, many in India, feel that counselling is for mad fellows. Anyone suffering from mental illness should visit the temples, because someone might have performed some witchcraft.
"Most of the time you would have parents or teachers saying it doesn't happen here. It happens to somebody with a lot of problems, and we don't face that. When it comes to anything of mental illness, it would be a big no-no... it would be hidden," Kandayparker says, who is a child psychologist in South India.
Each school should include psychology or mental wellness as a subject in the curriculum, as they do moral science. The function of the both are quite similar, but more emphasis should be given to understanding the mind so that we can address each other’s problems and try to help solve them. A podium should be created for open discussions on mental problems in educational sectors.
Different kinds of behavioural weaknesses should be discussed, like stammering, OCD, phobia etc. so that the root cause of each is known, and we can be more sensible the next time we find someone who says ‘don’t’ as ‘ddd do do do donnn’t’, or who is writing ‘b’ as ‘d’.
Colleges should focus more on rational learning with logical analysis because change should come within us. Generally, people have a tendency to laugh at anyone who is different from them. If a person falls over banana skin, we laugh, and not help him stand up. If someone is wearing tacky clothes, we laugh or criticize. If someone is getting his/her sums wrong, we laugh. Basically we laugh at other’s inability. To change this attitude, we need to learn how to appreciate other’s ability. Trainings should be given from young age, as to how we can understand the causative of a particular event, so that instead of laughing, we can find a solution.
Then, Rohits will no longer require #Jadoo to gain mental prowess. The society itself can do the #Magic.
Our economic departments should also make this field an employable area, so that people can develop an interest towards learning about mental health and rationality.
#Ishan and #Antara have been portraying the pain of mentally disabled children on TV and big screen, and their stories have touched our hearts, but it is unfortunate, that even today, parents are upset if child does not start singing hymns, right after 8 months of age. Parents in India, still force their children to match up in the rat race for highest grades, even if their intellect prefers to do something else. Appreciating a good film is very different from understanding what mental wellness is. India, as well as the world in general should appreciate the special qualities of an individual, rather than comparing him/her to the mass.
DIANE VAN DEREN, suffered from epilepsy, undergoing grand mal seizures for years. She is a proficient athlete and her determination towards sports is so indomitable, that she decided to undergo a brain surgery in 1997, which meant further risk of permanent brain damage, or dying. But she kept up her spirit, as she wanted mental health restored, and symptoms of epilepsy relieved.
Now she is 52, and Van Deren finished the 1,000-mile Mountain to Sea Trail in North Carolina on Saturday, June 2, 2012. Her 22-day run set a record for the course, which had never been accomplished in less than 24 days before. Van Deren says she is now through with 1,000-mile races, but will continue in 50- and 100-mile events.
Such inspiring stories always charge us up. It is our duty to pass down this positivity to others who are struggling with some weakness or shortcoming. NGOs can function towards the notion, or even we can use the social media to convey our message to the society, where not only a sufferer, but also a normal individual can understand the essence of promoting mental wellness.
When each of us lends a hand forward for making others happy, the world will be a different place, India will be a new India
A CleanIndia, free from taboos, stigmas and misconceptions,
An educated India, (where growing up, doesn’t mean throwing up your old values, rather applying what you learn in school)
An aware India, more sensitive and sensible India.