English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Bengaluru’s NIMHANS patients use flowers from temples to make eco-friendly colours

NIMHANS Bangaluru through its rehabilitation programme teaches patients to make eco-friendly Holi colours, cooking and baking

While attending to the issues of mental health of patients, the Bengaluru-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences also attends to their rehabilitation also.

Among the several initiatives taken by the NIMHANS’ Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, one which was very successful this year was making 100 kilograms of eco-friendly colours for Holi. Interestingly these were produced by using flowers donated to the institute by temples.

It was in 2017 that the project of making eco-friendly Holi colours was initiated. In the first year five kg was produced while in 2018 and 2019 the production was increased to 97 kg and 106 kg, respectively. It was suspended in 2020 because of Covid-19 pandemic and was resumed this year.

Explaining the process of producing these colours, Maithreyi NB, who is an instructor at NIMHANS said that the flowers donated by the temples are cut and dried. It takes a week for the flowers to dry and then it is put in a machine to ground and process them. From 10 kg of flowers one kg of colour is made.

Apart from making Holi colours, PRS also imparts training to patients to make candles, diyas, food items and bakery products. All the patients involved in these activities receive a share from the sale proceeds of these items.

Sharing details about these activities, Dr. T. Sivakumar, Additional Professor of Psychiatry at NIMHANS, said that the objective was to instil confidence among the patients. He told the media: “Our instructors do not discriminate and criticise the patients here. These activities give them a purpose in life. During these activities, they make friends and socialise. There is no pressure on them to meet any task. We also help them in getting jobs.”

Patients numbering 25 from NIMHANS also run Rose Café in the institution. This eating outlet serves snacks and lunch. For preparing and serving the food, these patients were trained while they were also taught how to manage payment through money. The café was started in 2019 and is quite popular.

In January this year, NIMHANS took 10 children from the Children’s Home for Mentally Retarded on a flight to Mangaluru with the money that was generated from the sale of products made by these patients. The children who are orphans desired to travel by train or plane and so the institution stepped in to fulfil it.