Introducing ‘Cusp: The Journal’

http://www.cuspthejournal.com/index.html

“CUSP is Critical Psychology in India.
Critical Psychology in India is also about Cultural Psychology.
Cultural Psychology in India is however about a ‘critique of culture’ in psychology
(and not just a ‘culture of critique’ in psychology).
CUSP is thus about ‘critical cultures’ and ‘cultural critiques’ in psychology.”

The first volume is on Violence.

Editorial from Anup Dhar

Why CUSP?

Anup Dhar

Given the focus on mental health to the exclusion of larger socio-cultural (as also political economy) questions, given the study of larger socio–cultural questions to the exclusion of questions of subjectivity and human relationalities, CUSP wishes to engage with questions of mental health and culture-subjectivity in their intimate imbrications. Through such an engagement CUSP wishes to expand and deepen the engagement (a) the field of mental health has at present with questions of culture, and (b) the space social science has at present with questions of intersubjectivity.

CUSP wishes to rethink the space of culture and subjectivity in their intimate imbrications with questions of mental health (as also to develop in the process an integrated approach to mental health). CUSP is a research initiative that is trying to extend critical human science concerns and questions (that includes questions of culture and subjectivity) to spaces that attend to mental health in terms of research, pedagogy, or alleviation of suffering; it is in turn bringing into human science spaces, concerns, and questions that inhabit the space of mental health. Taking off from the interface, interaction, and integration of the concerns and questions of these two spaces that have hitherto remained separate and alien to each other, CUSP is trying to rethink (and critically reflect upon) the question of mental health in India in the context of questions of culture, subjectivity, and psychic economies. One may immediately ask, what is there to rethink. Is it not enough to just apply the tools we already have (tools that either are derived from the west or are inherited from an Indian past)? Why can’t we just apply existing western thought or apply them at most in a slightly reformed way–reformed so as to suit Indian conditions? Here one must keep in mind that there is consensus on the fact that the existing forms of application are indeed a problem; the mental institutions lack infrastructure and facilities; human rights violation of the sufferer is an added problem. However, there is difference on the solutions that are being offered. Some see it is as a problem of application itself; for them it is an administrative problem; others see it as a problem particular to India. We, on the other hand, see the problem as not a problem just of application but of knowledge; it is not just a problem of the application of (western) tools to (Indian) contexts, but of the very tools (here knowledge) that are being applied (both western and eastern). This sets up the context of the two sets of questions CUSP wishes to engage with. The first concerns larger cultural questions (which include cultures of intimacy, aggression, violence, suffering, and love to name a few) and the second the more circumscribed space of attending to mental health, which in turn could lead to four questions: (1) the question of knowledge; what is it that we are applying? (2) the question of context; where are we applying; what are the different applications that are at work in India? (3) the question of the subject of suffering; on whom are we applying? (4) the question of the subject of knowledge; who is applying?”

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On legal capacity: Letter submitted to Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, New Delhi

To,

Shri Awanish Kumar Awasthi JT. Secretary (DePwD) Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment New Delhi Dated 1st July, 2015

Subject: Proposed forrmuations on issue of guardianship of adult persons with disabilities. Ref: Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill

Sir,

We, the persons with disabilities and the persons working for the cause of persons with disabilities listed at the end of this submission have gone through the recommendations of the Standing Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014. For many persons with disabilities, particularly those with psychosocial and developmental disabilities, a large factor that plays in their marginalization is the lack of recognition of legal capacity. In not reaffirming this right, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2013, has done a great disservice to the principles of the UNCPRD which it seeks to enforce in India. The issue of legal capacity is one which goes to the root of exercise of rights of persons with disabilities, particularly persons with psychosocial and developmental disabilities, and it must be recognized in sans conditions in this legislation which purports to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities. The lack of recognition of legal capacity has led to myriad restrictions upon persons with disabilities in India in personal, contractual, and political spheres. Recently, the Human Rights Watch Report entitled “Treated Worse than Animals: Abuses against Women and Girls with Psychosocial or Intellectual Disabilities in Institutions in India” highlights the lack of legal capacity and enforced guardianship to be a strong factor in the eventual abuse that is meted out to women and girls with disabilities.

Persons with developmental and psychosocial disabilities themselves appeared before the Committee in Chennai expressing their reservations with the laws on guardianship. We are extremely delighted by the observation of the Committee, which we are hereby reproducing as follows:

“The Committee note that though the Government have already decided to substitute/recast clause 13(1) and (2) suitably by extending provisions of the clause to all disabled persons yet they feel that there is a possibility of the same going against the right to equality and non-discrimination provisions in the Bill and the Constitution of India as well. The Committee desire the Ministry to have a revisit on the aspect of guardianship and if necessary invite views of some prominent NGOs and stakeholders in the matter.”

We submit that from the time of the drafting of the Bill in 2010, the issues surrounding guardianship and the discourse around Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has evolved immensely. In 2014, a General Comment was released by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the following effect:

“28. States parties’ obligation to replace substitute decision-making regimes by supported decisionmaking requires both the abolition of substitute decision-making regimes and the development of supported decision-making alternatives. The development of supported decision-making systems in parallel with the maintenance of substitute decision-making regimes is not sufficient to comply with article 12 of the Convention… …While supported decision-making regimes can take many forms, they should all incorporate certain key provisions to ensure compliance with article 12 of the Convention, including the following: (a) Supported decision-making must be available to all. A person’s level of support needs, especially where these are high, should not be a barrier to obtaining support in decision-making; (b) All forms of support in the exercise of legal capacity, including more intensive forms of support, must be based on the will and preference of the person, not on what is perceived as being in his or her objective best interests; (c) A person’s mode of communication must not be a barrier to obtaining support in decision-making, even where this communication is non-conventional, or understood by very few people; (d) Legal recognition of the support person(s) formally chosen by a person must be available and accessible, and States have an obligation to facilitate the creation of support, particularly for people who are isolated and may not have access to naturally occurring support in the community. This must include a mechanism for third parties to verify the identity of a support person as well as a mechanism for third parties to challenge the action of a support person if they believe that the support person is not acting in accordance with the will and preferences of the person concerned; (e) In order to comply with the requirement, set out in article 12, paragraph 3, of the Convention, for States parties to take measures to “provide access” to the support required, States parties must ensure that support is available at nominal or no cost to persons with disabilities and that lack of financial resources is not a barrier to accessing support in the exercise of legal capacity; (f) Support in decision-making must not be used as justification for limiting other fundamental rights of persons with disabilities, especially the right to vote, the right to marry, or establish a civil partnership, and found a family, reproductive rights, parental rights, the right to give consent for intimate relationships and medical treatment, and the right to liberty; (g) The person must have the right to refuse support and terminate or change the support relationship at any time; (h) Safeguards must be set up for all processes relating to legal capacity and support in exercising legal capacity. The goal of safeguards is to ensure that the person’s will and preferences are respected. (i) The provision of support to exercise legal capacity should not hinge on mental capacity assessments; new, non-discriminatory indicators of support needs are required in the provision of support to exercise legal capacity.”

It is clear that any law which permits exceptions to independent exercise of legal capacity cannot limited to persons with disabilities alone. This would make it prima facie violative of the CRPD. There are various situations in which persons may require varying levels of support in decision making. In the circumstances, it is prayed that the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill may omit all references to guardianship and instead provisions relating to legal capacity may be recast as suggested in the annexure to this submission.

With regard to guardianship, we refer to the proposed National Trust for Providing High Support for Persons with Disabilities Amendment Act of 2011. We call upon the Ministry to hold a consultation as advised by the Hon’ble Committee immediately and consider reviving the drafting of the same, in consultation with persons with disabilities themselves, and recast the existing mechanisms and bodies under the National Trust Act, 1999 to work towards supporting all persons who require assistance in enabling decision making by them in accordance with the observations in the General Comment. To reiterate, this law must make an unequivocal statement guaranteeing the right to legal capacity to all persons, and the regulations regarding the realization of this right must be prioritized by the Ministry.

Thanking you,

Best regards,

Prepared by Amba Salelkar and Bhargavi Davar For the Bapu Trust for Research on Mind and Discourse, Pune http://www.baputrust.org/ bapucrpdadvocacy@gmail.com

With inputs from:

Meenakshi B., Equals Centre for Promotion of Social Justice, Chennai Rajiv Rajan, Ektha, Chennai

Supported by:

1. Abdul Mabood, Snehi, New Delhi

2. Deepa, Unnati Organisation for Development Education

3. Disability Legislation Unit (South), Vidya Sagar, Chennai

4. Dr. Srilatha Juvva, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

5. Equals Centre for Promotion of Social Justice, Chennai

6. Gautam Chaudhary, Kolkata

7. Jashodhara Dasgupta, New Delhi

8. Mahesh Chandrasekhar, Bangalore

9. Nidhi Goyal, gender and disability rights activist, Mumbai

10. Nilesh Singhit, Disability Rights Activist, Mumbai

11. Prof. V.S. Sunder, Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai

12. R. Srivatsan, Centre for the Study of Culture and Society

13. Sarbani Dasroy, Iswar Sankalpa, Kolkata

14. Shivani Gupta, Accessability, New Delhi

15. Sudha Raghunathan, Chennai

16. Sudha Ramamoorthy, Chennai

17. Swadhikaar, Hyderabad

18. T.M.N. Deepak, December 3 Movement, Chennai

Formulations

Section 2 – Definitions clause – to be added

‘discrimination on the basis of disability’ means any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field and includes all forms of discrimination, including denial of reasonable accommodation;

Section 3 – to be redrafted

(1) It is recognized that disability is a part of human diversity, much like race, gender and religion, and that all persons with disabilities have an inherent right to equality before and under the law are entitled to the equal protection of the laws without any discrimination.

(2) No person shall be discriminated against on the ground of disability, and all persons with disabilities shall be provided with reasonable accommodation to provide for the effective realization of this right.

(3) Any legislation or policy or programme enacted by the State designed to accelerate or achieve de facto equality of persons with disabilities shall not be considered to be discrimination under this Section.

Section 12 – to be redrafted Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law at the time being in force:

(1) Persons with disabilities have the right to recognition everywhere as persons before the law, and enjoy legal capacity on an equal basis with others in all aspects of life. Any express or implied disqualification on the grounds of disability prescribed in any legislation, rule, notification, order, bye-law, regulation, custom or practice which has the effect of depriving any person with disability of legal capacity shall not be legally enforceable from the date of enforcement of this Act.

(2) Where deemed necessary by a person with disability, the person shall have a right to be given unconflicted support and reasonable accommodation in accessing information, understanding conseqences and liabilities, communication of decision, affirming decisions, and other aspects of decision making. The legal capacity of a person with disability shall not be questioned or denied, irrespective of the degree and extent of support, by reason of accessing support to exercise legal capacity. No person shall be deemed to require any form of supported or substituted decision making on the ground of having any impairment.

(3) The appropriate Government shall ensure that the persons with disabilities have right, equally with others, to own or inherit property, movable or immovable, control their financial affairs and have access to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit.

(4) The appropriate Government shall enact specific legislation including appropriate rules, notifications and bye laws, enabling the exercise of legal capacity before concerned authorities and service providers.

(5) All persons with disabilities presently under any form of guardianship under the National Trust Act, 1999, or the Mental Health Act, 1987, shall have the right to have their guardianship reconsidered before the authority constituted by the Appropriate Government that had approved of their guardianship, and in the event that the person with disability is aggrieved by the order passed on the application for reconsideration, the said order can be appealed in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

Section 13. To be removed

Section 14.

(1) The appropriate Government shall designate one or more authorities to mobilise the community and create social awareness to support persons with disabilities in exercise of their legal capacity.

(2) The authority designated under sub-section (1) shall take measures for setting up suitable support arrangements to exercise legal capacity by persons with disabilities living in institutions and those with high support needs and any other measures as may be required.

Section 109 – to be redrafted

(1) The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force and to the extent of such inconsistency that other law shall be deemed to have no effect.

(2)The provisions of this Act or the rules made there under shall be in addition and not in derogation of any other legislation, rules, orders or instructions which provides any entitlement or benefit to persons with disabilities.

Circle of care on the streets… Works by Sarbani Dasroy in ‘The Hindu’

Please find below article by Mr. Harsh Mander on caring …

May 2, 2015 17:15, The Hindu

http://m.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/Harsh_Mander/lessons-in-caring/article7164480.ece

“Man or woman perched on a waste dump. Covered with grime. Matted, unkempt hair. Nearly naked. Name forgotten. Family forgotten. Muttering inscrutable words. Wandering aimlessly. Solitary. Profoundly lost to the world.

We see many such people in the cities we inhabit. What do they inspire in our hearts? Revulsion? Fear? A fleeting passive pity? Or most likely, just indifference?

Sarbani was different. Heading an international NGO, walking the streets of Kolkata with a psychiatrist friend, she asked him what the fate would be of such people. He replied – probable lonely, early, anonymous death. She asked him of what they would die. The answer – because they lose the idea of self-care, they may simply die one day of dehydration, of thirst.

Sarbani quit her well-paying job, formed a group of caring young people to work with, registered an organisation called Iswar Sankalpa, and looked for answers to what appeared an unsolvable human tragedy. The answers they found hold extraordinary life-lessons for all of us.

A few decades back, such gravely mentally ill persons would have been incarcerated in high-walled mental hospitals and sometimes in jails, naked and chained, subjected to daily indignities and therapy including electric shocks, locked away from the world. Today it is recognised that these patients should best be cared for in open hospitals and within families.

But what happens to abandoned mentally ill persons who have no family? They endure a double whammy – of mental illness and homelessness.

Today medical science still has not found a cure for severe psychoses, but within a few weeks, medicines can control nearly all one’s debilitating symptoms, limiting confusions and the chances of self-harm. But who would provide these medicines daily to homeless mentally ill patients who have no one in the world?

The answer which Sarbani and her colleagues proposed was that surely there are caring people in every community, who if identified and educated, could become proxy families of these lost and forgotten souls. They first surveyed the city and found 466 such homeless psychotic patients. They found also that homeless mentally ill people often have a sense of belonging, such as to a particular stretch of pavement.

Eight fine young men and women then set about looking for caring people in these stretches frequented by each of these patients. They soon affirmed that indeed there is no shortage of compassionate people. They found them mostly among working class street vendors, but a few even among the middle classes.

During a night round through the streets of Kolkata in 2007, the team met a near-naked man beside a garbage dump near the Khidderpore flyover, chanting verses from the Koran. Investigating further, they learnt that a grain shopkeeper Mohammed Nihal gave this man lunch every day, even shared his morning tea with him, and gave him clothes. Nihal readily agreed to become his caregiver, and persuaded the man to attend a medical camp. In the camp, he identified himself as Abdullah. The team members bathed him, and a barber agreed to cut his hair and shave him. The doctor diagnosed him with hallucinatory schizoaffective disorder.

Within a month, Abdullah appeared more relaxed. He still communicated in sign language, but after five more months, began to speak. He also started to help Nihal in his shop. As time passed, he recalled that his name was Suresh Kamble, who worked as a radiologist Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital. But he insisted that he did not want to return to his family, and instead wanted only to stay with Nihal.

I met them seven years later. I found that Suresh was like a member of Nihal’s family, his friend and his most trusted shop assistant. Nihal insisted that his children give Suresh the respect due to any family elder. Nihal only worries what will happen after Suresh’s death. Suresh insists that he should be buried as a Muslim. But Nihal feels he is still a Hindu and should be cremated with Hindu rites. It is one argument that the friends have not resolved.

***

A homeless, fierce-looking man in his 30s, in tattered, clothes with long tangled hair and beard, unwashed body and malnourished frame restlessly roamed Bijon Setu, the flyover near Ballygunge Railway Station. When field worker Swapan initially approached him, he refused even to speak to him, or accept food or water from his hands. It took Swapan steady and gentle persistence over several weeks to win his trust. Finally he agreed to let Swapan take him to their psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with schizophrenia.

Swapan then looked around for willing caregivers. He found them in Sunil, who operates a soft drinks vending stall, and Kanan Mondal, an ageing widow selling tea under the flyover. Both agreed to help the man. The street barber agreed to cut his hair. He came to called Bijon after the flyover which was his chosen roaming ground.

He gradually accepted medicines, hygiene care, food and counselling therapy and slowly started regaining his memory. He remembered his real name to be Mohammed Asif Iqbal and that he lived in his maternal uncle’s home in Rajabazar. A visit to his home revealed Bijon’s melancholy past. He lost his mother at an early age, and was abandoned in his uncle’s home by his father. Uncared for, he befriended local boys who initiated him into hard drugs. This aggravated his mental health distress further. He was beaten and berated by neighbours and family members, and once arrested by the police.

When I met him some months later, I found Bijon clean, shaven and calm. He still lives at the flyover, as he is unwilling to return home. His memories of abuse and neglect haunt him. He has grown to like and trust his new friends Swapan, Sunil Babu and Kanak Mashi. The afternoon I met him, I found him sitting with them between their stalls. He said to me that he was due to meet another friend. This turned out that a volunteer Anirban, employed in an IT company nearby, who volunteered to visit him during his lunch-break every day. Anirban arrived soon after. In his hands was a packed box of biryani, which he brought to share with Bijon.

***

I met another caregiver, 18-year-old Sanjay, a pavement tea-seller in the busy commercial area Dhakuria. A middle-aged mentally ill man roamed his pavement, and Sanjay agreed to give him medicines with his tea twice a day. As he recovered, he refused to return to his home. Sanjay spoke to an acquaintance who hires out cycle-rickshaws to rent a rickshaw to Bapida, as he called his new friend. The rickshaw-owner was doubtful. What if he damaged the rickshaw? However, Sanjay stood guarantee for him, and had to mollify the owner for early damages to the rickshaw. But in time, Bapida settled down. He drinks tea with Sanjay, and sleeps on the pavement near his hand-cart at night.

I spoke with Sanjay while he was boiling and pouring out steaming tea expertly to his many customers. I asked him why he did what he did. He smiled a little, then only said, “Bhalo lage (I just like doing this).”

Background paper prepared by Bapu Trust, for meeting on de-institutionalization and thinking alternatives, 14th-15th April 2015, New Delhi

Brainstorming meeting on institutions for children and persons with disabilities:

Thinking alternatives

14th, 15th April 2015, New Delhi

Organized by Center for Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Bapu Trust

A background note

India ratified the UNCRPD in 2008, and has an obligation to ensure all human rights for all persons with disabilities. Among the rights placed center stage for the forthcoming meeting, are the following:

Article 19: Right to live independently and be included in the community

Article 14: Right to liberty and security

Article 15: Freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman, degrading punishment or treatment

Article 16: Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse

Article 17: Protecting the integrity of the person

Article 12: Equal recognition before the law

These rights of course must be read in tandem with other important Articles of the CRPD including ones on Right to Health and rehabilitation (25, 26); Equality and Non discrimination (5); Right to life (10); Articles on women and children (6, 7).

Over the last decades many of us have been concerned about the nature of institutions and lack of community based alternatives for children, men and women with disabilities. Events relating to Erwady asylum in Tamil Nadu, India, in 2001; and Asha Kiran, New Delhi, in the last few years, have highlighted the serious need to reform the disability sector from a human rights perspective. A recent report by Human Rights Watch [i], the Zero Draft of the UNCRPD Monitoring Report put out by NCPEDP [ii], the legal works and reports of Dr Asha Bajpai relating to the Mumbai High court proceedings on the massive scale of abuse against children with intellectual disabilities provoke civil society into taking human rights actions yet again. Meetings have been held by a variety of groups [iii] [iv] [v] including the recent National consultation by the Indian network of Women with Disabilities, protesting those abuses and violations that happen behind closed doors. Depositions, litigation and other efforts by HRLN lawyers in different parts of the country have also been around the issue of forced institutionalization, to protect Article 21 of the Indian constitution for persons with disabilities.

In the international front, even though there is ample scope for negotiation, the World Health Organization (WHO) at the least admitted that the presence of these laws have not secured respect and the safeguard of human rights [vi].  In the case of Korean submission before the UNCRPD Monitoring Committee, civil society made it amply clear that mental health legislations or any ‘special’ legislations result in the phenomenal increase in custodial institutions. In India too, following Erwady tragedy, custodial institutions have grown phenomenally in the private sector and ‘mentally ill’ patients are the only “health care consumers” who pay to get themselves involuntarily arrested and committed. UNCRPD committee Concluding Observations in a variety of country contexts, but most pointedly, in the case of China, have given clear directions for de-institutionalization and for realizing Article 19. The General Comment on Article 12 issued by the CRPD monitoring Committee [vii] has clearly directed that the right to legal capacity be ensured in health care settings. In 2008, The UN SR on Torture had already declared that institutionalization may constitute torture or ill-treatment if detention is indefinite. In 2013, the SR on torture, and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment expanded on this position and prohibited a wide variety of custodial practices found in the disability sector worldwide (medical treatments lacking therapeutic purpose; restraints; seclusion; coercive and non-consensual treatments; forced medication; electroshock procedures). The UN SR on Violence Against Women who visited India in 2012 also critically commented on forced sterilization and involuntary commitment, and concomitant violence on women and girls with disabilities. Also see an earlier Commission Resolution, viz. ‘Basic Principles and guidelines…’  which clearly mentions criminal sanctions against perpetrators of psychiatric detention and compulsory treatment [viii]. The WGHR group which intervenes in the UPR process of the United nations OHCHR and the Human Rights Council critically documented human rights violations of persons, especially women, with disabilities in the context of enforced detention and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments[ix]. Not happy with the coverage of the WGHR submission, and mentored by the International Disability Alliance, the National Disability Alliance submitted its own UPR report focusing on disability rights [x].

Against this scenario, emerging groups of persons with psychosocial disabilities in the Asian region (TCI-Asia) has advocated as follows:

“… many countries in Asia are bereft of any kind of community support systems for people with psychosocial disabilities. Some of those countries are poised for drafting and adopting a Mental health law, contrary to world experience of vast human rights violations within institutions. The Asian region is geographically, culturally and linguistically diverse with complex social systems. Devising strategies for Inclusion of persons with disabilities has to factor in this dynamism through local mental health programs integrated with community development.”

On the question of ‘If not institutions, what else…?’ a large set of accumulating knowledge is growing, on community based practices. In a very significant and celebratory moment, the resolution 25/20 the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released this year, their findings of  a study on the right of persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community (art. 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities). The study has defined ‘institutions’ in a new way, suggesting that institutionalization is a mental attitude rather than a material structure. The study enumerates a variety of good practices on living independently and being included in communities. Commitments of Asian region countries to the Incheon Strategy is yet another way by which persons with disabilities can inch their way forward into the development arena with dignity. While these pathways may be difficult, it is upto communities and collectives to open new doors for our inclusion in development.

CBR has inhabited the disability and development world for a long time. The World Report on Disability (2012) engaged world communities of people working in the disabilities sectors, to create enabling environments close to communities, taking the CBR framework forward. Inclusion International brought out two comprehensive reports [xi] [xii], where ‘Inclusion’ has become the guiding principle for all interventions: Any intervention that excludes people with disabilities from communities is considered as bad Development practice. Moving from their earlier 2010 Guidelines, CBM (2014) came up with a strategy paper on Inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities, describing good practices relevant to the Global South. The Trans Asian group of persons with psychosocial disabilities put together a document on good practices on Inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities in Bangkok, November, 2014.

Among several ideas, some common themes for such ‘Inclusion services’ are: supported networks at the community and family level and civil registrations thereof; foster parenting of those without any support systems; independent living communities; peer support, friendship and alternative social systems; groups and grassroots organizations of social workers, self advocates and community supporters on Inclusion; neighbourhoods and development practices in urban areas; a spectrum of all essential services in low income communities; and organizations that can build the capacities of communities on Inclusion.

[i] www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/india_forUpload.pdf “Treated worse than animals”. Human Rights Watch, 2014.

[ii] NCPEDP, 2013. Report on the CRPD implementation in India- Zero draft. NCPEDP, New Delhi.

[iii] NAAJMI (2009) NAAJMI, ‘Bill of Rights: Insights of a Mad Pride Campaign (2005-2008)’. Ed. Bhargavi Davar. Mental health Advocacy Resources, Volume II. Pune: Bapu Trust for Research on Mind & Discourse.

[iv] (2013), “Protection of Children with Disabilities – The Way Forward….” Organized by Aarth Astha, Seminar Hall No.3, India International Centre, 40, Max Muller Marg, Lodhi Road, New Delhi. 25th June 2013.

[v] (2012), The Disabled Rights Group (DRG) and National Alliance on Access to Justice for People Living with a Mental Illness (NAAJMI), organized a peaceful protest outside the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the 10th of October, 2012, against the new proposed Mental health care Bill.

[vi] 10 Facts on Mental Health, WHO, Geneva. “Human rights violations of people with mental and psychosocial disability are routinely reported in most countries. These include physical restraint, seclusion and denial of basic needs and privacy. Few countries have a legal framework that adequately protects the rights of people with mental disorders.”

[vii] http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/GC.aspx

[viii] Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law, UN Commission on Human Rights Resolution 2005/35:  “Under their obligations to take effective measures to prevent torture and ill-treatment, States Parties must enact and enforce criminal sanctions against perpetrators of psychiatric detention and compulsory treatment, and must provide reparations to victims and survivors.”

[ix] UPR, India Review, 13TH SESSION OF THE UPR WORKING GROUP, UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL (21 MAY – 1 JUNE 2012) JOINT STAKEHOLDERS’REPORT, Geneva Submitted by Working Group on Human Rights in India and the UN (WGHR), India, November of 2011

[x] Universal Periodic Review and Disability, an Indian experience. DNIS, Volume 9, Issue 5, May 15 2012. http: //www.dnis.org/features.php?issue_id=5&volume_id=9&features_id=204

[xi] Inclusion International, 2012. “Inclusive Communities = Stronger communities. Global Report on Article 19”, London.

[xii] Inclusion International, 2014. “Independent but not alone. A global report on the right to decide”. London.

About APCD, hosts for the upcoming Meeting of TCI Asia in Bangkok, 9-12 June, 2015

Find news about APCD at

http://www.apcdfoundation.org/?q=background

The “Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD)” is a regional center on disability and development. APCD was established in Bangkok, Thailand as a legacy of the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 1993-2002, with the joint collaboration of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Royal Thai Government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Government of Japan.

APCD was endorsed by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) as a regional cooperative base for its Biwako Millennium Framework for an inclusive society in the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 2003-2012. ESCAP identified APCD as the regional center on disability for the Incheon Strategy to Make the Right Real, 2013-2022.

In cooperation with more than 30 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, APCD is currently managed by the Foundation of Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD Foundation) under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

APCD, consistently working to forward rights of persons with disabilities wrt UNCRPD, has posted country profiles in Asia region at

http://www.apcdfoundation.org/?q=content/country-profile

Reaching APCD

For news about reaching APCD office, please find address, phone numbers and google maps at 

http://www.apcdfoundation.org/?q=contact

Offer from Hamsadhwani: Online course

From Hamsadhwani Prateeksha
For those of us who work in mental health from psycho-social perspectives, the suffering of mental illnesses and their nomenclatures are a well known experience.
Though a number of us have been working in mental health, also from lived and recovery experiences of the same and we make various sorts of representations, scholarly contributions around the world and talk, support, or assist people/families in our immediate vicinity, I felt that knowledge is not really diffusing to those who could directly benefit from our findings and empower their lives. this is not to say that those who are working in mental health are not doing enough- they are really doing the most they can. yet the ambient noise in the atmosphere is so much that their reach is to a very short distance; rather constricted.
In my own way, I have been looking for solutions how to reach more people and really empower them to recover the way I have recovered from bipolar or someone else has from schizophrenia.After years of study and trying to comprehend where the change can be most useful, I am now in a position to bring many diverse sort of resources to family caregivers. In this context we are now offering a course for family caregivers- which helps in understanding mental distress differently and support their loved ones, beyond just keeping them confined to psychiatric classification and pills.
Perhaps you would agree with me that in modern times, reaching people who directly stand to gain from this knowledge is the single biggest hurdle for anyone. One can only bank on the altruism of kindhearted humans, that they would forward a message to anyone who could stand to gain from this. I urge you all, to share this message with anyone, and request them to share further– for at this stage we have no further resources to reach them- except for the resource of a human empathy, if we can connect with it.
As part of this Caregivers’ Course, which is spread over eight weeks, there will be many people contributing their knowledge, scholarship, findings, outcomes of work with scores of people over the years- to a wider set of audience, over the internet. This ensures we overcome resource barriers of bringing so many people into one physical location or organizing space for carrying out these talks, lectures and discussions. Of course, it entails organizing of a wholly different level and scale, especially technology, coordination, network and people management.
To see who the likely contributors to this course are, please click this link.
In case you are also someone, who would like to offer your knowledge and findings to a wider audience, we will be happy to have a dialogue with you to figure out such collaborations. Please feel free to write to Hamsadhwani Prateeksha, or call back at the number below. They are open to supporting any organization and/or individual and also in receiving such support, in creating newer outcomes for suffering we are all so familiar with.
Please share these ideas of the Caregivers’ Course and Depression Support  Program, within your networks, to help everyone.
I look forward to your response and comments, if any. I hope to not only support towards recovery but also rehabilitation of people, towards gainful employment and other forms of social integration. Anyone who would like to support this more, is welcome to be part of this journey, with Hamsadhwani.
Phone: +91-832- 657 0660
Skype: Hansadhwani Prateeksha