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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Home for the mentally ill seeks public support

Friends for the Needy, a home for the mentally ill at Tirumullaivoyal, has appealed to the public to contribute towards its building project at its rehabilitation centre in Kathirvedu, Puzhal.

Talking to mediapersons on Thursday, Geetha Mathew, founder trustee, said the organisation was founded after seeing the sufferings of the mentally ill due to high costs of medication and accommodation. On an average, the centre could treat 20-25 patients for rehabilitation. There was a long waiting list for admission.

Dr. Sarada Menon, honorary adviser, said mental illness was worse than physical illness. The treatment required not just medicine, but compassion, physical touch, love and affection. Such care could only be provided by non-governmental organisations.

Dr. Santha Kamath, a psychiatrist who is on the visitors committee, said the home was shifted to Kathirvedu in July 2004. The inmates were housed in temporary sheds and the construction of a new home was taken up. The building was nearing completion, but construction of the second floor was deferred due to fund crunch. The total cost of the project was Rs. 40 lakhs and Rs. 18.5 lakhs still remained to be collected.

The building is expected to be completed by June. The facility can take in 40-50 members. The monthly expenditure in running the home, including food, medicines, toiletry, electricity and water charges, telephone and communication costs, has been estimated at Rs. 1,19,000, Ms. Mathew said.

"Fifty patients have been rehabilitated and have rejoined their families. Some need life time support. The trust needs to take care of such patients. Contributions to the trust are eligible for Income Tax benefits under Section 80 G," Ms. Mathew said. She can be reached at 2637 6755/Prakash H. Lulla, Kilpauk Resident Welfare Association at 98418 66747.

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