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                Tamil Nadu Pudhu Vaazhvu Society has been established by the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department with the assistance of World Bank to reduce the poverty of the very poor, differently abled, vulnerable people and tribal communities. The overall goal of this project is to support Government of Tamil Nadu’s strategy of reducing rural poverty with special focus on the poorest of the poor through support for productive activities and investments, using the Community-driven Development (CDD) approach.

                In Pudhu Vaazhvu Project special focus towards persons with different abilities have been taken up. Special efforts are also taken for addressing their various developmental needs through the project’s special component. In further responding to the diversified and individualized needs of persons with Mental Health issues, Pudhu Vaazhvu Mental Health Program (PVMHP) is being implemented by expanding the project’s disability work for persons with Mental Health issues (Mental illness including Mental Retardation) through JPHRD grants funds. The developmental objective of the project is to restore, enhance the voices and productive potential of people suffering from mental illness thereby bringing positive and meaningful transformation in the quality of life of persons with Mental Health issues.

Objectives of Pudhu Vaazhvu Mental Health Program:

  • Providing information, creating greater awareness and acceptance among communities, civil society organizations, Government agencies, administration and private sector providers on Mental Health issues and related disabilities, with special gender focus;

  • Building capacity of local administration, service providers and NGOs/CBOs;

  • Designing and implementing approaches for the identification criteria and process, mobilization into self- help groups, facilitating medical intervention, community based rehabilitation measures and training for skills and livelihood enhancements;

TNPVMHP key intervention elements:

  • Enhancing the awareness, sensitivity, acceptance and capacity of the communities, NGO’s, administrators, private and public sector providers in identifying, screening, counseling, treatment and rehabilitation of men and women with mental health issues;

  • Developing social mobilization and self-help group model to address social and cultural barriers including stigma and create a platform for voice and participation for people with mental health issues;

  • Partnering with civil society organizations, public and private sectors to provide the referral services for treatment and rehabilitation.

  • Facilitating skill training for employment and livelihood activities for the people with mental health disabilities;

  • Project activities shall be implemented through 4 major components:

    • Institutional strengthening and Community Based Rehabilitation approach.
    • Mainstreaming and enhancing livelihoods.
    • Project Management.
    • Monitoring and Evaluation.

Project and community institutional model for implementing the project will consist of:

  • At the Panchayat level, the inclusive Village Poverty Reduction Committee (VPRC) with nominated representatives of hamlets, target poor, differently abled, tribal (if any) and other village institutions will be the primary organization responsible to implement the project components at grass root level.

  • In addition to the VPRC at village level, the target poor, differently abled and other target beneficiaries of the project will be organized into Self Help Groups, Common Livelihood Groups and their Federations at the appropriate level.

  • At the Cluster level (10-15 Panchayats), Project Facilitation Teams (PFTs) would facilitate and guide the community organizations and target people with required capacity building measures;

  • At the block level in addition to the community institution - Vattara Magamai, one Block level Clinical Psychologist will be deputed by the Regional Resource Agency (RRA). This team would facilitate and guide the community organization and target people with required capacity building measures;

  • In District, the District Pudhu Vaazhvu Society team along with the community institutions- Mavatta Magamai will be responsible for co-ordinating and guiding the project activities with technical assistances from Regional Agencies engaged for cluster of districts.

  • At the Cluster level (10-15 Panchayats), Project Facilitation Teams (PFTs) would facilitate and guide the community organizations and target people with required capacity building measures;

  • At State level, the Tamil Nadu Pudhu Vaazhvu Society is responsible to execute the project and provide overall guidance, vision and direction to the program and manage and monitor project implementation.
Approach and Methodology:

                This is a community driven project where people are empowered with decision making and leadership function. The persons with disabilities and vulnerability are respected, enabled and given equal opportunity (irrespective of severity of their disability) in all aspects of capacity building and social mobilization process. The overall development approach shall empower persons with mental issues and their families to lead respectable social life with independent living skill and social security besides brining positive and meaningful transformation in their quality of life.

Project coverage:

                The project is operational in 120 blocks of 26 districts covering 4167 Village Panchayat.Pudhu Vaazhvu Mental Health program will be implemented with the JPHRD grant funds of 13.68 crores initially implemented in Phase- I of 15 districts of 15 blocks covering a total of 578 Village Panchayat and expanded subsequently to other phase project blocks.

Expected outcomes:

  • Restoring and enhancing the voice and productive potential of people suffering from mental disability.

  • Increased sensitivity towards persons with Mental Disability.

  • Early Identification, mobilization of people with Mental Disability, access to treatment, skills and livelihoods promotion.

  • The project activities is well managed, coordinated and monitored; and down ward accountability to community is maintained.