After PM Modi, BJP minister cracks joke on mental health

Days after PM Modi used dyslexia to mock Rahul Gandhi, Bihar Health Minister Shri Mangal Pandey of BJP, yesterday on 9th of March, made an insensitive remark on mental illness, at an event on mental health.

Mr Pandey, in a jape, compared a person inattentive towards his work to a person suffering with mental illness, saying “now a boy, who is a CA, is thinking that Pakistan has done wrong, and so isn’t focusing on his work. This too is an issue of mental health.” Mr Pandey’s remark comes a week after PM Shri Narendra Modi took a jibe at his opposition Rahul Gandhi, during an interaction with a student on dyslexia at Smart India Hackathon organised by IIT Roorkee where he was present via video conference.

Full video here:

The event, National Conference on Partnership to Scale up Innovative Solutions for Mental Healthcare in Bihar, organised by Centre for Health Policy (CHP), a unit of Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), at Hotel The Panache, Patna, was held in light of the fact that nearly 15% of total population of India (as per NMHS estimates) need active interventions for mental healthcare, where over 85% of them go untreated.

The day-long event saw speakers, including Retd. Patna HC Judge Hon’ble Justice Samrendra Pratap Singh, Dr Suresh Bada Math, professor at NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Dr Rajesh Kumar of IGIMS, Patna, and Dr Soumitra Pathare, Director, Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy. The conference was dominated by cheers for a change of time, after The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 came into effect last year, and the discussions emphasised the importance and effectiveness of treating mental health at primary and community level.

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