Pune : World Schizophrenia Awareness Day Public Meeting on May 24

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Pune : The Schizophrenia Awareness Association Pune (SAA) organizes every year on 24th May, which is the World Schizophrenia Awareness Day, a Public Meeting to create public awareness about schizophrenia and related mental. SAA is an NGO working for persons with mental illness and their families since 1997. SAA’s main focus is to create awareness about mental illness in the society, remove stigma attached to it and to promote self-help support groups of persons with mental illness and their families. SAA also runs a Day Rehabilitation Center for persons with mental illness at Dhayari and actively participates and contributes in consultations at local, regional and national level concerning mental illness and the rights of persons with mental illness.


The main feature of the Public Meeting is Late Aditya Pendse Memorial Oration delivered by a distinguished personality who has contributed significantly in the field of mental health. Late Aditya Pendse in whose memory the lecture is delivered every year on 24th May was a young man who suffered from schizophrenia till the unfortunate end of his life. His sister Vandana, wife of an air force officer also suffered from schizophrenia and died an unnatural death along with her baby daughter. Before Aditya ended his life, he left a note behind stating that all his assets be disposed of and proceeds distributed among organisations working for mental illness and other social causes. Interest income from a small portion of the endowment that SAA received from Shri Jagdish Pendse, father of Late Aditya Pendse is utilized in organizing the above oration, which is the only known oration in the memory of a victim of schizophrenia. Shri Jagdish Pendse is a widower in his 90s. He retired from railways as an engineer and lives alone in Athshri Pashan. His only living child, a son is settled in USA.


Dr. Bharat Vatwani This year, the Late Aditya Pendse Memorial Oration will be delivered by the distinguished psychiatrist Dr. Bharat Vatwani, Founder of Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation, Karjat, and winner of Ramon Magsaysay Award (2018). He and his wife, Dr. Smitha Vatwani, also a psychiatrist, have rescued, treated and rehabilitated and united with their families over seven thousands mentally ill Homeless. He will speak on “The Wandering Mentally Ill Roadside Destitute – A perspective’’.


 The Public Meeting will be chaired by Dr. R. Srinivasa Murthy, Former Professor of Psychiatry NIMHANS Bengaluru, who also served as senior faculty in psychiatry departments of reputed institutions like C.M.C.Vellore, P.G.I.M.E.R. Chandigarh and AIIMS New Delhi. He also served as Regional Adviser, psychiatry W.H.O. based in Cairo. The subject of his Oration will be “Taking Charge” (Actions families /caregivers can take in caring for persons diagnosed with schizophrenia).

Venue: Sancheti Hall, Dr. Nitu Mandke – IMA House, Tilak Road, Pune.
Date & Time: Friday, the 24th May 2019 at 5:00 PM