Mentally ill now serving  baked delicacies

ST Correspondent
Sunday, 14 October 2018

Along with the bakery, the patients at Chaitanya are also running two therapeutic yoga centres in Pashan and Balewadi with the help of a yoga instructor. 

Pune: On the occasion of World Mental Health Awareness Day (October 10), Chaitanya Mental Healthcare Centre, Pune inaugurated a bakery which is run solely by people suffering from chronic mental disorders. Dough Steps was inaugurated on October 10 by actor and psychiatrist Dr Mohan Agashe. While talking about the bakery, Sushupti Sathe from Chaitanya Mental Healthcare Centre, said, “The main motive of opening this bakery was to make the people suffering from disorders financially independent. It is very difficult for these people to get jobs in the outside world. After getting a discharge from the centre, they can continue pursuing this as a hobby or a business. This also gives them a sense of independence and confidence.”

Talking about the patients, Sushupti said, “They are very productive and creative individuals. On meeting them, no one would be able to tell that they are suffering from any disorders.The bakery is managed by us, we have a chef who assists us in the making and baking process. The bakery is a one of its kind project in Pune.” 
Yash Jagtap, a customer at the bakery, said, “It is really heartwarming to see such steps being taken to motivate the patients. They have a nice range of food products and the taste is really good too. It was nice to interact with the patients and am looking forward to come here more often and bring some friends along as well.”

While talking about how the patients were motivated to interact with people, Sushupti said, “We organised workshops for them. We made them speak in public, they attended several meetings with us, which helped them build their confidence. Since these people are suffering from mental disorders, they are seen as sometimes people tend to treat them differently which, in a way, hampers their self confidence. We, at Chaitanya, don’t just treat their disorders, we give them a home.”

The bakery Dough Steps is located at Shivranjan Complex, Someshwar Wadi in Pashan. It is open from 5 pm to 9 pm.

Along with the bakery, the patients at Chaitanya are also running two therapeutic yoga centres in Pashan and Balewadi with the help of Manoj Sawant, a yoga instructor. The yoga centre is illness specific and the people working there are currently being trained as yoga therapists which is beneficial for their own physical and mental well being and they can help others too, said Sushupti. In the next 15-20 days, Chaitanya also plans to take up two new projects for their patients. One of them is production of paper bags and other is setting up a computer institute, both of which will be managed and operated by the patients residing with them.

Chaitanya Mental Healthcare Centre is a charitable trust which is functional in treating people with chronic mental disorders since the last nineteen years. 

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