Thursday, June 30, 2011


Dr. Bharat Vatwani is the founder and guiding light of Shraddha. Starting in 1988 with a two-room tenement in Mumbai, Dr. Vatwani treated a few homeless mentally ill at a time. In 1997, the proceeds of an art exhibition of leading Indian artists and the contributions of several donors led to the opening of a 20 bed psychiatric facility in Mumbai. Unfortunately neighbors took Shraddha to court for housing "roadside, psychiatrically disturbing elements" that were perceived to be a threat to their community. In a landmark finding, the Mumbai High Court found that “mentally–ill, roadside destitutes are as much entitled to medical help as any physically indisposed person.”

In 2006, Dr. Vatwani was able to acquire 6.5 acres 90 kilometers southeast of Mumbai. The Karjat center provides a rehabilitation model that includes agriculture for up to 70 patients at a time. Over 1900 of the mentally ill homeless have been helped off the roads, treated, rehabilitated and reunited with their families throughout India.

In this clip Dr. Vatwani discusses how he was inspired to commit his life to serving homeless people with mental illness.

1 comment:

  1. Dr Vatwani is an exceptionally devoted social crusader .. His contribution to Indian Society is invaluable .. Reunion of cured patients with their families must be a moving experience for all , That must be the real happiness for Dr Vatwani .. When we look upon his work , I think we all are mentally ill , engrossed in our own life , unaware of problems of many unfortunate people around .