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Bhartiya Jain Sangathana adopts 277 children of deceased farmers from Marathwada

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The Bhartiya Jain Sangathana (BJS) has adopted 277 children of the farmers from the Marathwada region who have committed suicides due to non-payment of debts. BJS founder and Mutha Foundation chief Shantilal Mutha has adopted and brought 277 children, from class V to XII, to Wagholi Educational Research Centre (WERC) near Pune for their educational rehabilitation. Mr Mutha told about more than 100 visiting journalists at WERC that the region, reeling under severe drought condition for past three years, has seen suicides by 1,130 distressed farmers last year. Taking into consideration the plight of these students, BJS has decided to adopt 277 children from 900 families of the region and bring them to WERC at Pune, he said.

Out of 277 students, the highest 63 students including 26 girls are from Beed, followed by 50 from Nanded (18 girls), 41 from Aurangbad (including nine girls), 38 from Osmanabad (including 15 girls), 18 from Latur (including six girls), 14 from Jalna (including eight girls), eight from Hingoli (including three girls) and four from Parbhani district, he said. Mr Mutha further informed some of the children were depressed following the suicide by the head of their family.

''We conducted the various health tests on these children at various hospitals in Pune and worked out a plan for the development and sustainability of their mental health to ensure the psycho-social well-being of these extremely vulnerable group of children,'' he said. They have developed a programme called Manthan for the well being of their mental health. The aim of this programme is to nurture a positive attitude in these children for enabling them to become productive and responsible members of the society and also to help increase their educational and general outcome through focused improvement on their physical as well as mental health, said Mr Mutha.

Psychiatrist Dr Ashutosh Chavan and Psychologist Dr Kinjal Goyal have been given the responsibility of Manthan to screen the depressed children at initaial stage and treat them here, he said. With Manthan, BJS hopes to provide the much-needed emotional anchor to empower these children so that they can lead a stable life in the future, he added. Several programmes were organised for the visiting journalists by these children including drama, songs and interaction during the daylong function by the WERC.

Established in 1985, Mr Mutha is founder president of BJS. He is a role model for three wings -- Social service, Disaster Management and Permanent Rehabilitation through Quality Education.

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