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Expert help for women in distress

Troubled minds at the only state-run probation home for women in Ranchi will get the much-needed healing touch.

The state social welfare department has appointed a lady counsellor and a female legal adviser for the women’s probation home in Namkum for regular counselling of all the 66 inmates.

The two specialists will start visiting the home once a week after December 17 to help the women and girls staying there cope with their mental trauma.

Amita Ekka, in-charge of the home where many crime accused and rape victims live, said they were in dire need of a counsellor who could help build a safe and supportive environment conducive for healthy living.

“The women and girls living here need to give vent to their feelings. They need advice to beat depression, manage anger, anxiety and stress and overcome their emotional turmoil through talk therapy. They also need tips on personal hygiene, how to take care of themselves and so on. The woman counsellor will be of great help,” she added.

On the legal adviser, she said that the person would make the women make aware of their rights and help those facing criminal charges fight their cases.

“Both the counsellor and adviser will visit the home four times a month,” Ekka confirmed.

At present, the Namkum address — which houses 10 mentally disturbed women, 24 destitutes, including an eight-year-old, and 32 juvenile delinquents — has no counselling facility.

If they need expert help when the inmates become too depressed and behave abnormally, they refer them to Rinpas. In fact, the 10 mentally distressed inmates are already undergoing treatment at Rinpas and will be released only after they recover completely.

“Yes, there are many inmates who turn violent from time to time. It becomes difficult to control them, hence, we thought of roping in regular counsellors. We raised the matter at a meeting with block education extension officer of Namkum last month, who eventually sent the request to the state social welfare department,” Ekka said.

Amool Ranjan, professor and head of the department of clinical psychology, Rinpas, said they were also open to helping out the women inmates.

“A number of inmates are undergoing treatment at our institute. We want to visit the home once a week and counsel the women and girls so that they can overcome their mental and physical trauma,” he added.

In February, officials of the home had conducted a week-long special art of living camp for the inmates, which proved to be quite effective.