Charity for the mentally challenged wins Indian Fr. Triest Award
Fracarita India annually organizes the Father Triest Award. This Award is presented to people, organizations or projects that have made an exceptional contribution to breaking the taboo on mental health. The intention of this prize is to award those initiatives that approach suffering from any form of mental problems as cultural, creative, and social beings. The Fr. Triest Award of this year went to TRUST (Training and Rehabilitation of Underprivileged Members of Society, Trichy).
Fracarita India organized the World Mental Health Day in L.C.T.L. Palaniyappa Chettiyar Memorial Auditorium in Karaikudi, Tamilnadu, having the core theme of “Making Social Revolution on Mental Health” on the 9th of October 2015. This programme, which was attended by more than 400 people from social, health, academic and corporate sectors, and students from various colleges, was made possible through the collaboration of the Brothers of Charity and Fracarita India with the Department of Women’s Studies, Social Work Division, Alagappa University, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu.
The programme started with prayers at 10.30 am. The opening speech was given by Dr. Murugan, Professor of the Department of Women’s Studies, Alagappa University. The thematic speech was given by Dr. Manimekalai, Professor and Head of the Department of Women’s Studies, Alagappa University. Brother S. Wilfred, the Regional Superior of India, spoke about “Fr. Triest and his care for the poor”. His presentation helped the attendees to know more about Fr. Triest and his services to the society. The presidential address was given by Prof. S. Subbiah, Vice-Chancellor of Alagappa University, Karaikudi and he also welcomed the gathering.
Later, the honourable chief guest Dr. Bart De Groof, Consul-General of Belgium, gave an explanation about the Brothers of Charity and the tradition of psychiatric health care. His speech helped the audience to know more about the Congregation’s core business care, specifically in Belgium. Then the thematic address was given by Dr. Ramasubramanian, State Nodal Officer, Mental Health Programme, Tamil Nadu, who spoke about mental health and the present situation in Tamil Nadu. After all speeches, Dr. De Groof announced the award. The Father Triest Award went to TRUST (Training and Rehabilitation of Underprivileged Members of Society, Trichy), accompanied with a cash prize of Rupees 100,000/- (INR) for their outstanding work in fighting the stigma associated with mental health issues. The award winner was handed to Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Founder and Executive secretary. During his speech, he shared some experiences and gave more information about TRUST’s activities.
After the winner’s speech, Fracarita India showed the audience information about the NGO and its social activities via a short video clip. The students of the Dr. Umayal Ramanathan College and Sowma Public School performed a theme dance. The very successful event ended with having a lunch, together with all the attendees.
You can find pictures here.