Ashadeep – A Success Story of ability – The Ashadeep Shop

 Ashadeep sales outlet is all ready to sustain

Ashadeep Shop an outlet started two years ago for the items produced at the Sheltered Workshop of Ashadeep, has rehabilitated 83 beneficiaries who are earning a stipend in a range of Rs 500 to Rs 2000 per month. Indirectly, the project has helped in upgrading the status of the person with mental disorders in the family with their contribution in the family income.

Two Girls who had recovered from mental illness and are under medication now, have been employed as Sales Persons in the Shop. Apart from monetary benefits, their engagement has worked as a therapy for them as part of their rehabilitation process. The activities of the shop have been streamlined in the last 2 years and project coordinator is not required any more to oversee the project. The amount required to sustain the shop is just the salaries of 2 sales persons and the rent of the shop – which amounts to about Rs. 11000/- per month and will be generated out from the sale of products. The outlet has generated Rs 87,000 in first year and Rs 1,63,000 in the second year. Ashadeep team is quite hopeful that the revenues will increase year on year and thus sustain their operations

Budget of the project: Rs 8.62 lakh spread over two years

Ability – The Ashadeep Shop

Ray of Hope for persons with severe mental illness

Mental illness afflicts 5 Crore Indian, and 80% of our districts run without a single psychiatrist and ratio of 3 psychiatrists for every million population. With the Government spending less than 1% of its budget on mental health, the available services fall severely short of demand. The mentally ills patients at institutions suffer from inhuman conditions, and families with a patient face stigma and humiliation in society. Patients of Schizophrenia form rural and urban areas without adequate treatment are unwittingly separated from families and end up as roadside destitute, unclothed, unfed & uncared In this context, the sheltered workshop concept in the rehabilitation process at Ashadeep creates livelihood, by engaging such people in the production of hand woven clothing etc

The Ashadeep Shop is an outlet for the items produced at the Sheltered Workshop, so that income could be generated for the mentally challenged individuals involved  in the process.

The project is aimed at serving the main purposes –

  • Increase the income of the beneficiaries,
  • Increase the number of beneficiaries
  • Scope for livelihood generation of the beneficiaries and their families at rural areas who were rescued from the streets – which will lead to reduce relapses and homelessness
  • To create awareness and removing the stigma attached with mental disorders
  • Self sustainability of the project by the end of the funding period

Before the start of the Shop

The articles produced at sheltered workshops were sold at Exhibition Stalls and hence the sale was not regular. Only one item i.e. the Seminar File Covers were supplied regularly to various agencies. Through this process, only 26 individuals were generating income

After the start of the Shop

The sale has become regular creating a demand for production, which in turn created income generation opportunities to 83 people in the process.

Indirectly, the project has helped in upgrading the status of the person with mental disorders in the family with their contribution in the family income.

In case of the homeless women, it has been observed that, when such a woman is taken back home with a reasonable amount as her savings, the re-integration becomes easier. When the family sees that their long lost mentally ill member has the capacity to contribute to the family income, they do not consider her as a burden, but as an asset. This also helps in removing / reducing the social stigma attached to the illness. Hence the project has created a social impact also on the mental health issue.

Three beneficiaries – Mitali, Chandana and Reena, whose income has doubled after the opening of the shop are the prime earning members of their families at present. This has uplifted their status in the family who were once seen as a burden to the family with the continuing treatment required for their illnesses.

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In words of the founder secretary of Ashadeep Mr. Mukul GoswamiThe activities of the shop has been streamlined in the last 2 years and we feel that a Project Co-ordinator is not required any more. The amount required to sustain the shop is just the salaries of 2 sales persons and the rent of the house – which amounts to about Rs. 11000/- per month is going to come out from the sale of products. As we have enough stock of Raw Materials with us at present, we may require a very nominal amount for purchase of raw materials in the coming year. Revenue generated in the last year (2013-14): Rs. 160164.The gap of approximately Rs. 44000 could be easily covered if we can increase the sale by about 27 – 30%. Hence, we feel that we will be able to sustain the Shop from the current year onwards. Our sincere gratitude to Mr. Ananta Senapati and Give India to make the sale outlet possible”.
 Ashadeep 7Success StoryChandana, aged about 33 years and diagnosed as suffering from chronic Schizophrenia. She is the eldest of three daughters of a mother with chronic schizophrenia and a father who because of the burden, could not hold on to his job as an Accountant in a Public sector company. With two persons requiring constant medical supervision and treatment, the father’s earning as a broker in the transport department was not at all sufficient.Chandana has started attending the Day Rehabilitation centre at the age of 14 in 1997.During the past 15 years she has acquired quite a few vocational skills and has been actively involved in the production of various items for which she is being paid incentives. But, as the sale was not regular prior to opening of the shop, her monthly income was never more than Rs. 700 to Rs. 800. Chandana buys her own psychiatric medicines with her earnings, which she will have to take for the rest of her life. This income was never enough to meet her other needs. With the start of the shop, as the production became regular, Chandana’s monthly income has increased upto Rs. 1800. Now Chandana buys new dresses and also apart from buying her own medicines, she occasionally buys her mother’s medicines too.