A journey to Wayanadu gives me a good feeling and a joy inside the heart. The exquisite and elegant beauty of nature in Wayanadu is unforgettable. I think because of Wayanadu only, Kerala is considered as God's own country. The journey with friends was fun and went to Ambalavayal clinic in Wayanad for tribal area placement.
Reached at 10: 30 Am. Got an introductory class about the clinic. Mr. Thomas, secretary of the clinic explained about the history of the clinic and stressed the importance of volunteers in running a clinic. He finished his class by saying a quote, “Clinic is volunteers and volunteers are the clinic”.

Then Mr. Salih and Ms. Sona K Narayanan, faculty, MHAT explained the importance of volunteers and the connection between MHAT and the clinic.Went to tribal colonies for visits using jeep. We have visited 3 tribal colonies. The surroundings of the houses were silent and even though children were playing around, silence was prominent in there.  Some children were severely malnourished and was unable to stand properly. Almost all the children wore shabby and worn out cloths and was untidy. We went to nearby Anganvadi and understood the functioning of it. The children were playing around but could not find any toys other than an old cycle and some were swinging in some old cloths and ropes.

An interesting note is that in tribal areas, people with mental illness or any major illnesses are kept outside from the home. They will have their own small house and they will have to live in that for lifetime. This kind of isolation can result in lack of care and support from family members.

  The home care gave so many insights to the lives of people. Most of them suffered  with  economic constraints, social exclusion and social isolations. Some of the care givers of the these patients were unable to go to marriages and social events, as they cannot leave the patients in the home alone. These families were trying to meet the two ends of their life. The government’s support in the form of pensions like old age pension, disability pension and schemes like BPL entitlements, RSBY benefits and Aswasakiranam are not reaching these patients and these people were unsure about how to do to get these entitlements.

As i went back from Wayanadu, i felt sad and depressed and hope that this situation will change and will work to change it also.

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