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Social Entrepreneur-ism in Mental Health – E-Cell NIT Hamirpur
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Social Entrepreneur-ism in Mental Health – E-Cell NIT Hamirpur

On the 24th of April 2021, E-Cell of NIT, Hamirpur conducted an interactive webinar with Mr Nilay Jayswal, the co-founder of the Zuv Foundation and a TEDx speaker on the topic SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR-ISM IN MENTAL HEALTH. The webinar began with the host introducing Mr Nilay as a successful social entrepreneur, a TEDx speaker, a Padma Shri nominee, and a student of IIM, Kozhikode. Then Mr Nilay says that in the due course of the webinar they would be majorly emphasizing “What is Social Entrepreneurship”, “What is Mental Health”, and “ Which organizations are working towards the betterment of mental health”. 

Mr Nilay introduces Social Entrepreneurship as that field of entrepreneurship that lacks investment returns in form of revenue generation. Entrepreneurship is often associated with an idea or a business strategy worth millions or billions but Social Entrepreneurship helps in generating impacts on lives rather than generating revenue. He continues to say that social entrepreneurship is not a profession but a movement, a contribution, or an initiative towards the betterment of society by providing them with the essential development. Organizations work relentlessly and selflessly to fight against the evil causes prevailing in a society like poverty, malnutrition, abuse, violence, etc. Then CSE (Corporate Social Entrepreneurship) comes into the picture which might be or might not be similar to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). CSE covers the wider issues prevailing in the society in comparison to CSR. In addition to this, Mr Nilay also says that often social entrepreneurs have to face resistance from various sources in their way to bringing impacts.

Coming to the concept of Mental Health, Mr Nilay describes it as a state of psychological well-being where one can enjoy life to its fullest with a perfect balance of professional and personal life. He defines depression and anxiety and explains their relevance in the existing scenario of the pandemic. He mentions various symptoms to each of them respectively where depression includes symptoms like low confidence, low interest, low enthusiasm, low appetite and one might get suicidal thoughts (OCD) whereas anxiety is accompanied by low concentration, high irritability, sweaty hands, and frightening experiences from the smallest of the things around. He also puts up some shocking facts regarding the reach of mental health in India which stated that around 1% of the health budget is all that is spent on mental health. He also mentions the existence and relevance of Mental Health in the workplace. 

Moving on Mr Nilay mentions the concept of Social Entrepreneurship in Mental Health and explains this via the example of the initiative of the Zuv Foundation named “Kahaani” which strives to provide basic mental care and assistance to the survivors of heinous crimes like rapes, harassments, abuse, violence, etc. He then talks about 2 major organizations that have been excellently working on mental health in society. First is MINDS which carries out a 3 phase solution including talking and educating about mental health being first going to treatment requiring medications for free being second and the third phase being integration and acceptance into society.

The second organization is SCARF which provides free housing, boarding, and rehabilitation facilities to people fighting their mental illness. Mr Nilay then puts a famous quote by Barack Obama which states “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

The session comes to the end with Mr Nilay taking up the questions from the audience regarding some tips to deal with people suffering from Mental Health, how to cope with challenges of mental health in contemporary times, and some tips for aspiring social entrepreneurs