New Delhi, 12 March: On International Women’s Day in New Delhi, a profound discussion themed “Women and Mental Health Summit & Awards” was orchestrated by Bharat Dialogues, featuring luminaries such as Dr. Pratima Murthy, director of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Dr. Ranjana Kumari director of the Centre for Social Research, along with distinguished psychiatrists like Dr. Neena Bohra, Dr. Sameer Parikh, Dr. Jitendra Nagpal, and Dr. Kamna Chhibber.


The discourse delved deep into various facets of women’s rights and mental well-being, honouring exceptional individuals and organisations for their commendable contributions in the field. Dr. Pratima Murthy, in her participation at the Bharat Dialogues event, emphasised the pivotal role that socio-economic factors play in nurturing the mental health of women in Indian society. She advocated for policy frameworks that exhibit heightened sensitivity towards women, recognising them as catalysts for change.

Dr. Ranjana Kumari, a revered activist for women’s rights and Director of the Centre for Social Research, highlighted the existing gender disparities in Indian society as impediments to the advancement of women’s mental well-being. In Indian society. Underscoring the dire need for heightened awareness and acceptance of mental health struggles among women, she said, “The response to mental health issues differs significantly based on gender within families. If a son faces such challenges, efforts are made to address and treat the issue promptly; however, the approach markedly changes when a daughter experiences similar struggles. Daughters are often dismissed with accusations of pretence, laziness, or reluctance to work, exacerbating their plight. Women and girls grappling with mental health concerns encounter unwarranted allegations and a lack of understanding.”

The Bharat Dialogues event saw a diverse participation encompassing not only advocates for women’s rights and mental health professionals but also mental health startups, NGOs dedicated to this cause across the nation, and Human Resources leaders from various companies. Enthusiastic engagement was also observed from students representing numerous colleges within Delhi University. Pooja Priyamvada, the co-founder of Bharat Dialogues, addressed the pressing mental health challenges engulfing India, particularly concerning women, lamenting the stagnant progress in this critical domain over recent decades. The dearth of collaboration among stakeholders in mental health has hindered advancements, prompting the initiative to facilitate a collaborative platform for diverse entities to converge and foster mutual support and innovative solutions.

Several commendable individuals and organisations were honoured during the event for their pioneering work in both mental health advocacy and women’s rights, including Amrit Bakshi, the esteemed former president of the Schizophrenia Awareness Association and the dedicated managing trustee of the Rehab Centre. In addition, various individuals and organisations were acknowledged for their significant contributions to the advancement of women’s and mental health. Notable honourees include Aparna Piramal Raje, the author of the renowned book “Chemical Khichadi” focusing on bipolar disorder, eminent TV journalist & CMD and Editor in Chief of Bharat Express News Network, Dr. Itisha Nagar, a former professor at Delhi University, prominent RJ Divya Vasudeva, and health journalist Nitendra Singh from DD News. Among the recognised organisations are Safety App, Menstruapedia, Impact and Dialogue Foundation, Protsahan India, Islamic Research Foundation, Swayam Foundation, Counsel India, Red Dot Foundation, Winni, Sangati Foundation, and Media Mantra.