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Monday, February 10, 2014

Aasra writeup in Hindustan Times 9th Feb 2014

  • 14 Jul 2013
  • Hindustan Times (Mumbai)
  • Tasneem Kausar

They will hear you out when you need to talk

NAVI MUMBAI: Located in sector 16 of Kopar Khairane, Aasra aims to help manage mental illness by providing professional care and support to the depressed and suicidal.
The objective of Aasra is offer a non-judgmental listener to anyone who is feeling anxiety, stress or despair. Members of Aasra believe that a suicide can be averted by active listening. The NGO has launched a 24x7 helpline for citizens.
Johnson Thomas, the director, said “We have been working here since 1998. So far, we have registered around 4 lakh cases with regard to distress and suicidal problems. We look after around 30 such cases a day. We not only address their problems, but also conduct workshops in different parts of the city."
Aasra is a member of the Navi Mumbai Swayamsevi Sanghatna Sansthanche Vyaspith and is also a member of the Navi Mumbai NGOs Forum.”
“As a part of both forums, it has spear-headed various activities in the fields of community and women’s development. Both Forums jointly tackled the 26/7 devastation when the entire city was ravaged by floods, by coordinating reha-
Kopar Khairane crisis intervention center for the distressed and suicidal bilitation initiatives that provided succour to the multitudes that were rendered homeless without hygienic food and water for several days,” Thomas said.
In addition to this, other activities undertaken by Aasra include anti-tobacco campaigns, HIV/AIDS awareness programs, comprehensive health fairs in colleges, Women’s Day programs and skill development, awareness campaigns, legal literacy workshops, nutrition programs, group savings initiatives for women belonging to the economically weaker communities to make them selfsufficient.

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