March 28, 2015
Inauguration of three months skill development project on “Empowerment of Recovered Persons with Mental Illness through Dairy Farming activity in Madurai District” was held on 28th March, 2015 at M.S.Chellamuthu Gardens, Alagarkovil, Madurai. It is a joint initiative of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), Chennai, Tamil Nadu Pudhu Vaazhvu Project, Chennai, Mahindra Consulting Engineer Ltd, Chennai and M.S.Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation (MSCTRF), Madurai.
This unique skill development project, which includes a certificate course from the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), was launched for the recovered persons with mental illness who have undergone rehabilitation training at MSCTRF. This public-private initiative will facilitate mainstreaming of people with a history of mental illness through vocational empowerment in the form of dairy farming. To start with, 20 people — 10 under Tamil Nadu Pudhu Vaazhvu Project and 10 with funding support from Mahindra Consulting Engineers — will be trained at the dairy farm in Ayathampatti near Alagarkoil for three months. TANUVAS will provide the technical support for the training.
The Collector, L. Subramanian, who inaugurated the project, pointed out that it was Madurai which provided employment for the mentally disabled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for the first time in the country. He suggested that the beneficiaries could form groups to start their own dairies with assistance from banks. The lands owned by families of beneficiaries could be dovetailed to raise cattle fodder. Cattle sheds could be constructed through convergence withMGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme).
The Vice-Chancellor of TANUVAS, S. Thilagar, who received the first copy of the Course Material from Mr. Subramanian, said that treatment of mental illness would not be complete without skill development. D. Thyagarajan, Director of Distance Education, TANUVAS, described cattle as stress busters. Dr.C. Ramasubramanian, State Nodal Officer, District Mental Health Programme,Tamil Nadu, in his welcome address stressed that medicine alone would not cure mental illness and there was a need for rehabilitation.
C. Chandrahasan, Director of Distance Education,TANUVAS,Chennai, C. S. Narayanan, Chief Operating Officer, Mahindra Consulting Engineers, Chennai, R. Gopinath, Joint Director of Animal Husbandry, Mr.Christy, General Manager, Madurai Aavin and R. Murugaprabu, Lead District Manager, Madurai offered their felicitations on the occasion. Dr.B.Pannai Muruganandan, Professor & Head, Veterinary University Training & Research Centre, Madurai proposed vote of thanks.