About Us

History

Mental health till recently was largely limited to the identification, treatment and referral of people with mental illnesses. This shaped the way people understood and accessed mental health care. A deep stigma is attached to mental health illnesses and concerns which strangulated the demand for psychological services that were available only in hospitalized settings.

After working in hospitals, three psychology and psychiatry professionals realized the limitations of the reach of their interventions. Their work benefited people who were either psychologically sophisticated to seek such help or to those who had been referred after exhausting all other options. These three professionals decided to come together to provide preventive, promotive and positive mental health care that could benefit every section of the society and not be limited to mental illnesses. Manas Foundation was a culmination of their vision to change the nature of mental health care in India.

In 2001, a general clinic was set-up to de-hospitalize mental health care and reduce the attached stigma. This proved to be a tremendous success with large number of people seeking support from their clinical practice. Manas expanded from a one-room clinical setup in an abandoned building in GK-II to two adjacent flats in Khirki Extension in the same year. While, working with regular psychological and psychiatric interventions, the founders realized that mental health care could be highly beneficial to children with special needs and Manas organically metamorphosed into a facility for special children.

After a few years, the founders reached crossroads and had to make a decision on whether to go deeper to address the concerns of special children or move towards providing mental healthcare to other sections of the society. Manas aims to make mental health services available to all sections of the society while, working on both demand and supply side of services. Manas enhances demand through awareness campaigns to reach out to a larger population and trains and sensitizes professionals and para-professionals to augment the supply of mental health services. Manas started BAREFOOT COUNSELING in the year2007.

Our gender-sensitization work with police personnel, which started in 2010-11, using models of psycho-social and civic-legal perspectives have been adapted as an integral aspect of the personnel training.

In 2014, Manas joined hands with Indraprastha Gas limited (IGL) to start a distinctive training programme for public transport personnel, engaging men in taking ownership of safety of their women passengers.

Most recently, in 2015, Manas has tied up with Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and UN Women to start Gender training for DTC Marshals.

We hope to change how people perceive mental health care and support them in realising their full potentials.

 

Leadership

Mrs. Monica Kumar, Managing Trustee, Manas Foundation with the child.jpg


MONICA KUMAR
Trustee & Psychologist

 Monica Kumar is a practicing psychologist, founding trustee of Manas Foundation and an Ashoka Fellow. She has worked extensively in mental health service delivery in both hospitals and communities. She founded Manas (2000) to extend mental health services to the broader community specifically focusing on resource-poor people. She has been bridging the gap between mental health services’ provision and implementation by integrating mental health care units in various settings like school structures, and custodial care homes. She has been instrumental in defining the guidelines for mental health needs and childcare and protection policies for the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights [DCPCR].

Monica aspires to co-create a multi-tiered model of recovery for mental illness management and alleviation that are supported by the pillars of accessible and affordable preventive-promotive-recovery methods

She is a recipient of the EdelGive: Social Innovation Honor for her work with underprivileged women, using models of psycho-social rehabilitation and care. She serves as a member of the State Child Protection Society on the board of the Department of Women and Child Development [DWCD], Delhi and is a member of the governing body of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme [ICPS]. She is an alumna of NIMHANS with an M Phil. in Medical and Social Psychology.

Monica has worked with distressed populations including children and women afflicted with sexual/emotional/physical abuse and violence, juvenile delinquents, and trafficked children. Leveraging her diverse repertoire of skills and knowledge, Monica is now using unconventional mental health approaches in engaging men to create safe spaces for women. Along with the Manas team, she has been successfully implementing training and creating support systems for drivers of public transport in an attempt to create safe and accessible travel experience.


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Dr. AMIYA BANERJEE
Trustee & Psychiatrist

 Dr. Amiya Banerjee is a practicing psychiatrist and founding trustee of Manas Foundation. He practices out of Greater Noida and has been a Consultant psychiatrist at VIMHANS, Delhi for 10 years. Dr. Amiya completed his Diploma in Psychiatry at NIMHANS, Bangalore and his MD at AIIMS, New Delhi. His subsequent work as a practicing psychiatrist has taken him into roles and settings that have broadened his understanding of psychiatry.

Dr. Amiya’s interest in people suffering from serious forms of mental illness like schizophrenia and mood disorders is in being able to provide them with sound diagnosis and treatment. This is possible when one integrates psychiatry with other branches of neurosciences, since the mind is seated in the brain and is affected when brain structure or function is disturbed. Inspired by this thought, he developed the Behavioral Neurology Clinic where conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and Parkinson’s disease were jointly treated by the neurologist, psychiatrist and neuropsychologist. He worked closely with the neurosurgeons in situations like head injury, brain tumors and postoperative ICU care.

Just as the mind is in the brain, the brain is in the body. Physical and brain illnesses are often intertwined. Dr. Amiya’s interest in these interfaces led him to collaborate with other medical specialists when he was a visiting Consultant at Escorts Heart Hospital and Dharamshila Cancer Hospital. Hospital based practice, however varied, offers but one perspective of the problems prevalent in the community at large. In 2000, Dr. Amiya along with Monica founded Manas spurred by their vision of a community based mental health initiative.

The field of mental health is ultimately about the person behind the disorder who needs to be understood by the person within the professional. With time, Dr. Amiya decided to pay equal attention to his personal journey and has been enjoying half marathons, playing midfield for his football club. His novel, ‘Rivers Past’, was published in 2012. After a small splash, it sank without a trace. His fascination towards Indian culture and natural landscapes has taken him and his backpack to magical places where. He tries to use these insights to enrich himself and those who come to him.

 

 

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NAVEEN KUMAR
Trustee & Psychologist

A psychologist by choice and wanderer by nature, Naveen Kumar is a practicing psychologist and the founding trustee of Manas. He has over 15 years of experience in providing mental health inputs to individuals and disadvantaged groups through his clinical practice and community outreach projects. Naveen has been instrumental in conceiving the idea and process behind the key target interventions implemented by Manas to promote well-being and positivity for many vulnerable and volatile communities.

Naveen’s association as alumni of IMT Ghaziabad and Campus Law Faculty, Delhi University helped him build his understanding of the corporate and legal worlds. As his core area of interest, this experience enables him to effectively provide mental health care required for issues related to work situations, environmental stress and personal and professional relationships.

 Naveen’s work is highly appreciated and recognized in the field of individual therapy, especially with adolescent and youth, marital problems, and resistant psychological issues of obsessions and addictions. He switched to psychology in 2000 and completed his masters and training as a psychologist to follow his keen interest in human behavior and the principles governing it.


 The Manas Team

 All the employees put their efforts to enhance the functioning of Manas and share their work. The work culture at Manas is healthy & joyful.


 

Dr. PRASHANT GOYAL

Dr. Prashant Goyal is a practicing psychiatrist with over 9 years of work experience in clinical psychiatry. At Manas, Dr. Prashant manages the psychiatric interventions for the Nirmal Chhaya project supporting evaluation, assessments, and medical interventions as required. He has also been building capacities of in-house caretakers with respect to understanding symptoms and undertaking emergency patient management at Nirmal Chhaya.

Dr. Prashant has completed his MD in Psychiatry from AIIMS followed by a 5-year work stint at the hospital. He currently runs his own clinical psychiatry practice, specifically, focusing on adult psychiatry, and substance abuse. Dr. Prashant’s aim is to expand mental health services to communities looking at spreading awareness, creating access to public health programmes and de-stigmatising mental health. He is passionate about developing modules of care for caregivers of patients suffering from chronic mental illness.

 

Shuchi Goel, Psychologist

Shuchi Goel is a practicing psychologist conducting individual therapy sessions, clinical testing, family sessions, and supporting programs at Manas. She is currently involved with an outreach program for police personnel focusing on gender sensitization from a mental health perspective. Shuchi is also a training coordinator for Building Bonds providing gender-sensitization training for auto and taxi drivers.

 With 4 years of experience, Shuchi has taken on herself to create and implement a positive mental health curriculum. She is currently involved in the conceptualization and implementation of the mental health curriculum for schools at Manas. This includes year round workshops with students in the age group of 8 to 17 years from the Sanskriti and the Air Force schools.

After completing her Masters in Psychology from Osmania University, Hyderabad, Shuchi seeks to build capacities and adaptive measures of rehabilitation for juvenile delinquents, marginalized women and disenfranchised children. A traveller at heart, and an imaginative, quick learner, she firmly believes that mental health is an integral part of overall human well-being. Shuchi aims to spread this dictum amongst communities, eradicating taboos and dogmas in the process.

 

Pradeep Kaur Grewal, Psychologist

Pradeep Kaur Grewal is a Psychologist at Manas currently working at the Nirmal Chhaya Complex. Pradeep applies cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and various other psycho social interventions for homeless women and children. Her passion is to reintegrate individuals with mental illness into the society. With keen interest in providing quality of life, her focus lies in prevention-based work to create spaces for expression of people with mental health issues.

Pradeep completed her Bachelor’s in Applied Psychology from University of Delhi and completed her Master’s in Cognitive science from Centre of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (CBCS), University of Allahabad. Her broader area of interest lies in understanding cognition-emotion interaction specifically in clinical populations using psychometric techniques. She has hands on experience of EEG methodology and is familiar with other behavioral techniques. Reading and talking to anyone can keep her engrossed for hours.

Ujwalla Bhandari, Psychologist

Ujwalla Bhandari is a psychologist at Manas with a passion to tackle psychological concerns that obstruct well-being at different stages of human life. At Manas, she has worked on the development of Mental Health Curriculum for youth and is part of the ongoing workshop-based initiative for schools. Ujwalla is also involved in conceptualizing and delivering creative interventions that help widen the accessibility and scope of mental health services for individuals and groups.

Ujwalla administers the psycho-diagnostics and psychometric assessments at the Manas clinic supporting clients on their journeys to betterment. She also handles the in-house counseling requirements for the college counselling programme. Ujwalla was part of the career counseling for underprivileged adolescents and young adults project conducted in collaboration with the Aga Khan Development Network, focusing on future orientation and counseling needs. She completed her Masters in Psychology from the Arts Faculty at Delhi University.

Working at Manas gives Ujwalla diverse and daily opportunities to experience the various realities of mental health services, engage with clients, and be a part of their growth and change. She believes that beyond being a remedial service, therapeutic means to address psychological issues actualize and enhance lives on both ends of the relationship. Ujwalla loves writing non-fiction and poetry and works to bring creative expression into her practice of psychology as a profession.

 

Achyuta Nanda Dyansamantara, Social Worker

Achyuta Nanda is a trainer with Manas working on the Building Bonds programme. He supports the gender-sensitisation training of auto and taxi drivers apart from documentation, project management and capacity building for other trainers. Achyuta has previously worked with Gram Vikas, Deepalaya and PHFI supporting their counseling, project management and research teams.

Achyuta completed his masters in social work from National Institute of Social Work and Social Sciences (NISWASS), Bhubaneswar. He is passionate about exploring and learning from the different socio-economical sections of the society across India. He enjoys watching documentaries and loves playing cricket and badminton. 

 

Namrata Sharan, Social Worker

Namrata Sharan is a project coordinator with the Building Bonds programme, Burari at Manas. Apart from conducting trainings, she is also responsible for the project management of the programme. Namrata who has previously worked with several organizations, was behind the success of enrollment of girl child at Deepalaya, which increased by more than 200%. She was also behind the double-fold growth in ratings of the ETV Talk Show “Nari” as a scriptwriter. The talk show went on to become the No. 1 daily talk show for ETV.

Scripting on lives of personalities like Sarojini Naidu and for the talk show “Nari” transformed Namrata’s perception of lives and challenges of today’s women. As she became aware of the ground realities while working for “Deepalya”, she decided to remove the gender inequality between men and women. She hopes to change the way people think, through her role with Building Bonds. Namrata has a masters in Philosophy apart from a diploma in mass communications and a basic career counseling course.

Ayesha Siddiqui

 Ayesha Siddiqui is a psychologist with Manas and is working at the mental health unit, Nirmal Chhaya Home for women and children. Ayesha who is experienced in psycho social interventions, applies latest psychological therapies to improve individual and group behaviours, emotional state and feelings for a healthier life. She is a graduate in applied psychology from Delhi University and a postgraduate in psychology from Amity University.

Ayesha has garnered enviable experience during her internship at the Safdarjung Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital and the Delhi Psychiatric Centre. This exposure at the grass root has ignited her mind to create accessibility to mental health services for the socially and economically marginalised sections of the society. Ayesha hopes to create a society where mental illness is not considered as a ‘stigma’, instead right to positive mental health is secured for all. She believes in changing the present paradigm where patient suffering from mental health is seen differently.

Ratika Sharma, Social Worker

 Ratika Sharma is a social worker with more than 5 years of experience in special education, NGO operations and program coordination. She holds a degree in NGO management from Jamia Milia Islamia and developmental therapy from School of Rehabilitation Science, AADI.

At Manas, Ratika works as a trainer with the Building Bond project and is involved in the gender-sensitization training for auto and taxi drivers. She also supports the fundraising efforts for the team. Ratika hopes to see a broader change in the society and work towards a safer society for women by engaging men.

She is enthusiastic to learn and grow and passionate about travel and the positive growth and development of people. She believes that children and youth with mental health challenges have the right to be loved, respected, supported, and included in their families and communities. And, all agencies within communities must work as integrated networks to meet the mental health needs of children and youth.

 

Rohit Kumar, Social Worker

Rohit Kumar is a social worker and a trainer with the Building Bonds project at Manas. He is involved in the gender-sensitisation trainings for commercial drivers in Delhi. Rohit has completed his Masters in Women and Gender Studies from School of Gender and Development, IGNOU.

Rohit previously worked in Haryana providing microfinance opportunities to women to uplift their roles and statuses within the society. His larger goal is to continue his research studies on gender inequalities and human sexuality. He believes that homosexuality has an identity of its own and this is a very important and sensitive issue that is not being looked into.

 

Shruti Ramakrishnan, Psychologist

Shruti Ramakrishnan is a counselling psychologist at Manas’ Mental Health Unit at Children Home for Boys, Lajpat Nagar, a shelter home for boys of 10 - 18 years. Shruti holds a masters in psychology from Delhi University and immensely enjoys working with these boys who according to her are waiting to be discovered and guided through individual and group sessions. A firm believer in nurturance, growth, equality and open communication, she respects each child for their individuality and builds upon their mental health to create spaces for growth and learning.

Shruti’s journey with psychology began at school to help others discover and know themselves better thereby, leading a healthy and holistic life. Working at Manas helped her bridge the gap between theory and practice using a psychosocial perspective. When not working, Shruti likes to observe and enjoy simple pleasures of life by spending time with herself and close ones. She reflects on her own journey by reading, singing and writing.

Suranjana Ghatak Choudhary, Clinical Psychologist

Suranjana Choudhary conducts psychological assessments, psychotherapy and research based work at Manas apart from workshops with school children. She also provides individual and group therapy at Manas’ Mental Health Unit at Nirmal Chhaya Complex. Suranjana completed her M.A. in Psychology from Delhi University and M. Phil. in Clinical Psychology from Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), Delhi University. She is keen to pursue an in-depth understanding of practicing positive psychology, humanistic and existential psychology, social psychology, adolescent mental health, and psychotherapy.

Suranjana endeavours to understand the idiosyncratic experiences of clients, and the unique meaning that they give to the turbulent phase of their life during which psychologists come into the picture. She hopes to use the inimitable strength and potential of each client as an aid in psychotherapy instead of failing to highlight the human aspects of the battle with psychological distress. An issue, she observed amongst clinicians rushing to list symptoms and the right category for diagnosis from her initial experiences from clinical practice.

Suranjana is inspired by and accords with Manas’ focus on viewing mental health through a positive lens, emphasis on the “person” not the “illness”, and taking mental health care to the grassroots. When not at work, she loves to remain engrossed with her personal psychological journey through writing, reading, travelling, listening to music, and daydreaming.

 Teena Yadav, Social Worker

Teena is a trainer at Manas and is involved in the formulation of training modules, reports and data analysis for Building Bonds. Prior to that, she worked with the KD Singh Foundation and other NGOs in providing legal, medical and rehabilitation assistance for sexual assault cases and creating liaisons with concerned departments. Teena has over 10 years of experience in the development sector and has worked in challenging conditions.

Teena holds a masters degree in Hindi and Sanskrit Literature along with a bachelors degree in education. She has been utilising her communication skills and knowledge in the social sector for long. Her passion to create a violence-free environment for women by changing attitudes led her to work with Manas. Teena loves reading books and is a traveler at heart.

Uroosa Khatoon, Social Worker  

Uroosa Khatoon is a psychologist and trainer at Manas. She is involved in the trainings for auto and taxi drivers on gender sensitization. One of her primary focuses is in raising awareness on gender sensitization and creating safer zones in the society for a better quality of life.  

Uroosa is a postgraduate in psychology from Aligarh Muslim University and has additionally completed P.G Diploma in counselling psychology. She worked as a counselor with Salaam Baalak Trust, Centre for equity studies and Kendriya Vidyalaya providing individual and group counseling, long term care plan development, and life skills education. She also supported children and adolescents with trauma and other mental illnesses through supportive group therapy and psychosocial support.

Uroosa enjoys travelling, reading books, and exploring the nature and loves to connect with children. She believes that these children are the building blocks of our future world and need all the love and education they can get. 

Vijay Laxmi, Psychologist  

Vijay Laxmi is a psychologist with Manas conducting psychological assessment, psychotherapy and research based work. She also provides individual and group therapy at Manas’s Mental Health Unit at Nirmal Chhaya. Prior to Manas, Vijay Laxmi worked with various mental health organisations like Richmond Fellowship Society, Swashrit Society and Unique Psychological Services. Vijay started working with Manas to gain a deeper understanding of psychology and its clinical, counselling, organisational, social, adolescent mental health, and psychotherapy practices.  

Vijay Laxmi has a Masters in Psychology from GNDU, Amritsar and Bachelors in Applied Psychology from Delhi University. She has interned with Safdarjung, Max, Fortis Escort and VIMHANS hospitals. Outside of office, she likes to work with children with special needs and continue her personal psychological journey through classical music, travelling, and playing with children. Vijay Laxmi is inspired by Manas’ focus on viewing mental health through a positive lens and their emphasis on the “person” not the “illness”. She accords with their work philosophy of taking mental health care to the grassroots.

Neelam Gangwani, Social Worker

Neelam Gangwani is a social worker cum trainer at Manas and works with Building Bonds programme. She supports the gender sensitization training of auto drivers, taxi drivers and DTC Marshals. She believes that the need for gender equality has not yet reached out to many ears. She also trusts that through this program she is experiencing a unique exposure to engage with community and create a behavioural change through trainings for safe and equal public spaces in transport.

Neelam has completed her M.A in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati Campus. She has a special interest in empowering women to take part in the development process.  She is a lifetime member of TISS alumni association. She is also passionate about travelling to different places and understanding different socio-economic sections of the society across India.

Ankita Gupta, Communication Manager

Ankita is a Communication manager at Manas. A script writer, photographer, social media manager and Video producer with excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Ankita leads on the development and implementation of Manass communications strategy.  

As a freelance communication Officer she has worked with National Geographic channel for their project “The Unlock Hour’. She has also been associated with Feminist Approach to Technology(FAT), Eicher and Volvo Trucks and buses and others. She has worked as an Associate Producer and Correspondent with Asian News International (ANI). Ankita holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Applied Journalism and Media studies which was a blend of both, video and print media.

Every now and then she roams around the city to capture some interesting faces and their mighty expressions through the power of her Lens.

 Trishla Jakhar, Psychologists

Trishla Jakhar, a trained social worker in Mental Health (MSW Mental Health, TISS) has diverse exposure in various settings from Human Rights to clinical setting. She has worked on a research project with Department of social welfare, Delhi and TISS-KOSHISH on Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Residents of Asha Kiran Complex, Delhi as Research Officer involving quantitative and qualitative method of research. She has also completed basic counselling credit course. Working for the weaker sections of society who are often ignored has always been her area of interest. Always excited to work in different settings and out of the comfort zone and adapt to all kind of environment always drives her to work hard and contribute as much as she can. At Manas she is engaged in different projects, works in Nirmal Chhaya project and is part of a UNFPA research.

Pramod Kumar Pandey, Social Worker

Pramod is working as a trainer with Manas Foundation. He conducts gender sensitization training sessions for auto drivers. He is passionate for working towards women empowerment. He has completed PG diploma in Guidance and Counselling and M.A in Psychology. Previously he also worked with Unique Psychological Services, HCR Institutes and Subharti Medical College.

 


ManasChild Protection Policy

Why Must Manas have a Child Protection Policy?

Child protection is one of the major concerns of the organization under its child rights agenda. As an organization, Manas Foundation views the tenets, philosophy and provisions of mental health in a wider context, covering all categories of children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law. Over a period of 12 years, Manas has established the fact that marginalization is an offshoot of neglect that makes such children more prone to the need for care and protection. In order to ensure protection to all such children, Manas has developed a child protection policy in view of its experiences and learning while working with the vulnerable and exploited children, whose right to protection has been violated in some form or the other. The policy has also been formulated to formalize and standardize its approach, methods and processes of child protection, in order to guide social workers, counselors, care providers, policy makers and child rights activists in their respective areas of work within and outside the organization. Manas has been integral toward creating the DCPCR guidelines for both, the children afflicted by sexual abuse and the children residing within residential care settings.

 

§  To assess the vicissitudes of mental illness among children in India, post the implementation of various new policies and legal instruments.

§  To study the forms, impact and causes of mental health concerns and illnesses and its relationship with various forms of abuse among children.

§  To critically assess the gaps in the state mechanisms and framework to deal with the problems related to mentally-afflicted children in the country.

§  To identify those kinds of CMDs and SMIs which are prevalent but are hidden and unknown – that may lead to exploitation, neglect and violation of child rights.

§  To study the perception of children about trauma/abuse/violence vis a vis the perception of other stakeholders related to and unrelated to mental health illnesses

§  Recommend strategies and measures for further streamlining child’s protective environment by looking into the gaps in development & intervention policies and programmes.

 

Stakeholders involved with the process of ensuring the protective environment of children:

1.      Parents, family and primary caregivers [when the parent is absent]

2.      Teachers [from the three categories of schools: public schools, private schools and those teaching within the institutional settings] and the related staff members [such as the house-keeping, aayasand matrons, transport personnel – who interact with the children in routine]

3.      Care givers in institutions (shelter homes, observation homes, etc.)

4.      Care providers / duty bearers of ICDS, Health, ICPS

5.      Enforcement and other officials:

5.1 Police – across units such as the juvenile unit police

5.2 Labour inspectors

5.3 In-house stationer police (for instance those within the observation home premises)

5.3 Social welfare department workers

5.4 Probation and in-house welfare officers across the organizations

5.5 Members and officials of juvenile justice board, CWC, CPU, Child-lines, children’s courts

5.6 Commissions and other judicial/statutory and non-statutory bodies

 

Stakeholders with whom the children come in contact:

1. Shopkeepers/Street staff/Kiraana shops

2. Guards of the locality

3. Neighbors

4. Members of local bodies like PRIs and ULBs and School management committees (CMCs)

 

Objectives

The protocol is designed to achieve the following objectives:

 

§  Protect the child’s emotional, social and psychological well-being in concurrence to the rights of children who are living in difficult circumstances, facing exploitation, abuse, deprivation and those who are in need of care and support.

§  Take utmost precautions through antecedents verification, continuous vigilance and day to day system of watch to prevent all forms of child abuse including neglect, within the Mental Health Unit.

§  Cater to the needs of protection of such children through direct intervention, community mobilization and outreach programs.

§  Protect children through effective implementation of the existing child related mental health policies, programs, legislations and international commitments.

§  Advocate for child protection by representation in the decision making processes at various levels and also to influence positive changes in the decisions within the adjunct government bodies such as the Department of Women and Child Development.

§  Assist children in communicating their concerns and choices to the adult community – the Manas personnel create mechanisms, such as non-directive interviewing children with possibility of abuse/violence and facilitating them to report such instances to the Manas psychologist.

§  Create and sustain opportunities where multiple partnerships and networks can work together in a collective manner – such as standardizing our Child Protection Policy for the institution.

 

Institutional Systems and Mechanisms

 

The organization, over the years, has evolved set procedures to seek participation of children, parents, staff and volunteers by way of conducting weekly, monthly, biannual meetings and invite feedback for improvement of the systems – as regulated with the committee meetings.

 

Additionally, an appropriate financial code has been in place which describes powers and authority given to its psychologists which are reviewed through daily records, monthly/bi-annual/annual reports. It also explains the procedures to address malpractice, frauds and deceits.

 

We recognize that anyone associated with children program through Manas, should adopt its articulated Child Protection Policy and be equipped with knowledge, skills and most importantly, an attitude to support children with commitment and compassion. They are expected to raise voices whenever they come across suspicious characters or malpractices.Any violation of this policy and established organizational system(s) has been sincerely addressed by the Manas management and necessary legal/remedial action(s) have been taken against the violator (s) under State/national laws wherever applicable, within the capacity of our mental health repertoire.

 

Protocol for Working with Children

§  Preparing case profile of children at the time of induction

§  Meticulous routine for each child considering its requirement and vulnerability and ensure basic care and protection during their time within the mental health unit

§  Conducting counselling sessions and preparing records as well as introducing therapy mechanisms for intervention with the children

§  Undertaking learners achievement tests in alternative centers or those mainstreamed into regular schools to review for learning disabilities and mental retardation

§  Developing individual case profiles and reports of cases of children produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) or Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), as the case may be

§  Maintaining and updating follow up records

 

Categories of Children

§  Parentless girl child

§  Trafficked children

§  Sexually and physically abused children

§  Juveniles in conflict with law

§  Children in need of care and protection

§  Child labour

§  Street and working children

§  Child vendor

§  Child beggar

§  Disabled children

§  Neglected children by families

§  Children affected by disaster, calamity

§  Children of commercial sex workers

§  Slum and migrant children

§  Displaced and evicted children

§  Out-of-school children

            §  Children engaged in domestic help

 

There are other categories of children who are referred to other specialized agencies:

§  Children with disabilities

§  Children with Common Mental Disorders [CMDs] and Severe Mental Illnesses [SMIs]

§  Children affected by HIV/ AIDS

§  Children of transgender families

 

Association Policy

Manas is reaching out to children of various categories. However, there are obvious limitations of resources due to which it cannot provide services to a large number of children in need of care and protection. Therefore, Manas has developed an association policy which will guide the care givers in the entire process. Besides involving thousands of children directly into protection program components and within the mental health service delivery loop, Manas has developed a strong referral and networking system. Manas also believes that the government is the primary stakeholder in the process of child protection hence it is into creating replicable and sustainable models and systems for child protection wherever the organization operates, with the aim to build sensitization within the mental health taskforces.

 

Don’ts for staff and Zero Tolerance Code

 Staff and others must not:

 

§  Beat or otherwise physically assault or abuse children

§  Make unethical advances or develop physical / sexual relationship with children

§  Develop any relationship with children which could be assumed as exploitative or abusive

§  Act in any manner that put children at risk situations

§  Staff and others associated with children must avoid actions or behavior that may be construed as weak practice or potentially abusive and exploitative:

§  Discriminate against color, language, disabilities, physical feature, etcetera that leads to differential treatment

§  Use language or expressions that is found inappropriate to a child

§  Make physical gestures in a manner which appears to be inappropriate or sexually provocative

 

Protocol for Staff (Core staff, Contractual appointments) and Consultants

·         Psychological and antecedent check

·         Specific responsibilities of the line staff of each of the category prescribed in the job profile

Value Orientation and Code of Conduct towards Children

·         Respect the privacy and dignity of each and every child

·         Do not stay in a room alone with a child of different gender

·         Never stigmatize or humiliate a child

·         No corporal punishment

·         No sexual overtures or relation with any child

·         Never sleep alone with any child

·         Do not use slang or abusive language on children or in front of children

·         Children should not be engaged in personnel work of any staff

·         Privacy of the identity of child to be maintained specially in front of media

·         Must not give gifts directly to children

·         Do not wear provocative and in appropriate clothes

·         Never take any child to an isolated place

·         Empathize with children rather than sympathize

·         Children? movements must be recorded while sending them to schools, hospitals or referral service centres or even in repatriation/ restoration.

 

Value Orientation and Code of Conduct for Staff

       -   Every staff and member of the organization who comes in contact with children should:

·         Ensure that a culture of openness exists and allow issues / concerns for discussion or being heard

·         Allow children to interact with staff, others and encourage them to raise their concerns

·         Give opportunities to children to let them know about issues of abuse, neglect and exploitation in appropriate platforms through workshops and awareness lectures/demonstrations

·         Avoid spending excessive time with children alone and be visible while working with them at the work place

·         Checking of original documents of the concerned individual(s) at the time of induction

·         References to be verified either over telephone or in writing

·         Orientation on the code of conduct and behaviour protocols

Value Orientation and Code of Conduct towards Children

·         Respect the privacy and dignity of each and every child

·         Do not stay in a room alone with a child of different gender

·         Never stigmatize or humiliate a child

·         No corporal punishment

·         No sexual overtures or relation with any child

·         Do not use slang or abusive language on children or in front of children

·         Children should not be engaged in personnel work of any staff

·         Privacy of the identity of child to be maintained specially in front of media

·         Must not give gifts directly to children

·         Do not wear provocative and in appropriate clothes

·         Never take any child to an isolated place

·         Empathize with children rather than sympathize

·         Children’s movements must be recorded while sending them to schools, hospitals or referral service centres or even in repatriation/ restoration. 

 
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