Friday, October 9, 2015

World Mental Health Day, 10 October

Today, 10 October, is observed internationally as WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY. Events in various countries highlight the need to educate everyone about what mental health is. It is also an opportunity to de stigmatize mental disorders.

WHO estimates that fully 25% of Nepal's population suffers from some mental health issues - depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia being the major ones. The decade-long insurgency has further exacerbated the dent in the nation's mental health. The April earthquake and the current blockade have not improved matters. Mental health services are abysmal with around 50 psychiatrists, mostly in the capital, and even fewer psychotherapists. The next budget has zero allocation for mental health!

The next time you see a person with mental disorder, please do not dehumanize her/him by simply dismissing the person as mad, crazy, or worse. Mental disorders are rooted in chemical imbalance of the brain. Proper medication, therapy, support from family and friends, conducive environment, exercise, and spiritualism can pave the way for a perfectly normal productive life.

There is no health without mental health!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Blockade Update

Here is my understanding so far:

There is a Indian blockade, officially denied. The argument that there is no security in Terai for essential goods to pass through is stupid. The Army can provide absolutely secure transit of the convoys from India. Yes, it may have to come down hard on some of the Madhesi demonstrators; and that would be problematic to our neighbor.

Seems the Bihar election is a litmus test for PM Modi's BJP. The election concludes on 5 Nov, still more than a month away. Apparently 80% of Madhesis in Nepal originate from Bihar. So one can put two & two together.

At least 8 international laws and conventions are being broken by India with this blockade. Our government has not raised the issue. International community is twiddling its thumbs.

Seems NOC is not bound to obtain petroleum products exclusively from IOC. Was there really an offer from China to help out in this regards, an offer refused by our government? 

Terai parties have pre-conditions to sitting down for talks with the government. Unacceptable.

The responsibility for this entire mess falls on the brain-dead heads of the troika which fast-tracked the constitution without ameliorating Madhesh issues. In any sane nation, they would have payed a heavy price - political and otherwise!