Automated laundry in Kolkata run by people with mental illness

Kolkata, May 29 (IANS) An automated laundry service launched in a mental health hospital here seeks to give the inmates an opportunity to work and earn a daily wage, organisers say.

Called ‘Dhobi Ghar’, the spacious automated laundry has been set up in state-run Calcutta Pavlov Hospital here and was inaugurated on Saturday by West Bengal’s Minister for Social Welfare Shashi Panja.

“The idea is to challenge the very notion that people with mental illness can’t become workers. The work they are doing in the laundry proves they have value-based role in life,” said Ratnaboli Ray, founder of Anjali, a mental health rights organisation.

The laundry project was set up by Anjali in collaboration with state government’s health and family welfare department. It has Sparsh Foundation as a technical partner and is enabled by The Hans Foundation.

“It is for empowerment and livelihood and hygiene, You won’t find this anywhere in India,” said minister Panja.

–IANS

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