MYSURU: The family of 43-year-old Babu alias Ibrahim had lost all hopes of meeting him again after he went missing from home six years ago. The task of tracing him was all the more daunting as he was mentally ill. But Green Dot Trust, a Mysuru-based trust, came to their help and united them with Babu. Not just him, the Trust has aided 86 such mentally-ill patients and destitute wandering the streets of Mysuru and neighbouring districts get back to their families.
A public charitable trust and not-for-profit organisation, Green Dot has been on a quiet mission, ensuring quality and respectful living for the homeless, mentally ill and the disabled. The focus is also on rescuing, rehabilitating and reuniting them with their families.Established in 2008 by Dr CK Kantharaju, the Trust has so far rescued 111 homeless mentally-ill people and successfully reunited 86 of them with their families. Kantharaju, a PhD holder in anthropology, has applied anthropological techniques of data collection extensively to help these people.
“Initially, the Trust was involved in empowering women belonging to economically weaker sections by training them in tailoring and making them self-sustainable. In November 2014, the trust set up an old age home for women in Roopanagar, Dasanakoppalu, to address the needs of women who are away from home. Subsequently, Manasadhama -- a home for homeless mentally-ill men was established,” he recalls.
The trust has set up the Manasadhama helpline, and whenever they receive a call, the team rushes to the spot and rescues the mentally-ill person who is then rehabilitated and provided with needed treatment to make him stable gradually. “Once the individual is fine, he starts revealing details about his family, based on which we try to contact the family or take the help of the police to find the family and put the person in touch with them,” says Kantharaju.
Khadar from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu was found wandering near the Bandipalya APMC in Mysuru half-naked. He was reunited with his family in 2019. Sanjay, a 30-year-old rescued in Bilikere by the police was brought to Manasadhama. After treatment, it was found that he was from Kharianta in Tamil Nadu. The trust launched a search to find his family and traced his brother Ranjan Ojha, who revealed that Sanjay was missing for four years and was under treatment for six years previously.
“These are just some of the cases that we have attended to over the years. Most of these patients don’t remember even simple things about them. But when we provide them with necessary treatment and counselling, they start to communicate with us and recollect their past,” says Kantharaju. “Our mission is betterment of homeless, disabled and neglected individuals through a holistic approach,” he adds.
“We have plans to rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate at least 50 homeless mentally-ill individuals with their families across the country by 2025,” he says.
Besides the home for the homeless, the trust runs Manasadhara -- a daycare centre for the mentally-ill in Mysuru and Madikeri. Here, rehabilitation is provided to the inmates along with counselling, psychiatric support and vocational training, including bag making, gardening and painting. The trust trains them in yoga. It also manages Nele -- an old-age home for women and a primary health centre in Kanoor in Virajpet taluk of Madikeri under the public-private partnership model.
“We create a friendly, caring and family-like atmosphere for the inmates, where they share their joys and sorrows and live happily. This has given us best results. We have plans to expand our reach to homeless destitute and marginalised communities. We have established a home again model to address the issues of the homeless with mental illness which will be relaunched in a grand scale again,” Kantharaj concludes.