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Volume 4 Issue 14 - July 15, 2006

“Mental illness will not be removed from Disability Act”: Subbulakshmi Jegadeesan

D.N.I.S. News Network – Allaying fears of psychiatrists, Union Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Subbalakshmi Jagadeesan assured that mental illness would not be removed from the Disability Act, 1995, and that the Centre was keen on support reaching the people suffering from this disability.

The Minister’s assurance was in response to apprehensions of the Indian Psychiatric Society that ‘lobbying’ was on in the Capital to see that mental illness was removed from the Disability Act since it was taken care of by separate Acts. Inaugurating the Annual Conference of Indian Psychiatric Society – Tamil Nadu, Jagadeesan added that the Centre would definitely not take any decision that would adversely affect the welfare of the mentally ill.

About one crore people in the country are affected by mental illness, though awareness in this regard is low. Stating that financial assistance for schemes taken up by various states would not be found wanting, the Minister recalled the larger awareness about mental illness among people after the Erawadi fire tragedy in Tamil Nadu, in which inmates of a private asylum were burnt to death in a fire disaster.

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