government should think of establishing a National institute of mental health and Neuro Sciences

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But Did You Know…
Undivided Aurangabad district had a 350 bedded Government Mental Hospital at Jalna spread over 17 acres of land. In fact there is an indirect reference to a mental hospital at ‘Naya Jalna’ in Manmohan Desai’s film Chacha Bhatija.

The history :
“It is a story of 350 to 400 bedded government mental hospital. It was shifted from Jalna (Maharashtra) to Hyderabad (AP) in 1953.

The institute was started at Jalna for mentally ill patients in between 1895 -1907 by Nizam government of Hyderabad. It was known as ‘Darul Majanin’ (mental asylum). In the process of time the name of Institution was changed to Government Mental Hospital, Jalna and again after independence it was renamed as Hospital for Mental Diseases, Jalna.

As per the sources, the hospital was situated at Jalna on Devalgaon Raja road. One can say that, the area of the hospital was more than 17 Acre. The hospital had separate buildings for male & female & also separate in-charge psychiatrist or medical officers. At the time of shifting Dr. R.Natarajan (MBBS DPM) was the superintendent for male section while Dr. Mrs.Nerurkar was in-charge for female section.

Description of hospital premises :
The place is well built, structured and suitable for mental hospital. The hospital has only one entrance; which has a heavy door; containing a small door for use of staff, patients and relatives. The main or large door was used for the goods Lorries. At the entrance; there is a wide space for sitting the guards or watchmen. It is near about 6ft in length. Left side of the entrance visiting & case history room is situated.

The room is specious and airy. There is a wide open space to its left. Next to the visiting room, there was a big conference hall. It might be used as auditorium or for recreation of patients. Next to it, kitchen & bhandarghar were situated. The 7000 liter reservoir was located a furlong to the right of the kitchen & in front of the conference hall. To the right side of entrance the hospital had 8 rooms. In each of room 20-25 patients were admitted. Apart from that, special provision was available for severe and violent patient.

Presently the buildings of female & male are occupied by Rashtriya Hindi Vidyalay, Jalna and Janata High School, Jalna respectively. The building of female section is completely modified but the building of male section, which was 2Km away from it; is still as it is.

It was notable that,before 1949 there were only 29 mental hospitals in Indian union – India,Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.”
Pics & Excerpts from : Darul Majanine, Jalna to Institute of Mental Health, Erragadda Hyderabad: The Forgotten History by Neeraj Shyam Deo.

Today’s scenario :
Due to prolonged droughts, severe distress in agriculture sector, lack of investment to remove developmental backlog and challenges of urban living, a large part of population suffers from some form of mental stress. The large number of suicides amongst farmers can be attributed to severe stress. Unable to manage stress or seek timely help / medication results in loss of life or temporary / permanent incapacitation.
To address this situation, it is necessary to have a Government Mental health facility in Marathwada region, which can provide timely help to patients in need.

Maharashtra today has three Government run Mental health institutes at Thane, Pune and Nagpur. There was a time when Aurangabad district was at the forefront in providing mental care to the citizens. The facility was shifted to Hyderabad and Government of Maharashtra didn’t revive the same. But considering the changed circumstances and the distress amongst a large section of population of the region, the government should seriously think of establishing a National institute of mental health and neuro sciences or at least a Regional Mental Health Institute in Aurangabad or Jalna for the population of Marathwada to benefit from it.

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