From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Oct 11: Stung by the backlash and adverse publicity in the media, especially the bashing received in social media over his statement on women at the NIMHANS function on Sunday, Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar has clarified a small part of his comment was misunderstood and asserted that he had no intention of singling out women.
The entire statement is as follows:
The prestigious National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru marked the World Mental Health Day on Sunday, October 11 at a time when the world is grappling with the century's biggest pandemic.
The bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear caused due to pandemic has triggered mental health issues like anxiety, in depression and stress, especially among our younger population.
Through my address at the World Mental Health Day programme at NIMHANS I intended to send across the message on how our Indian family value system can address the mental health issues that we are facing today.
It is unfortunate that a small part of my address out of the nineteen and a half minutes long speech during the World Mental Health Day program at NIMHANS on Sunday is taken out of context and thereby losing out on the larger point I was trying to make at the prestigious National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences.
First of all I would like to convey that I am myself a proud father of a daughter and I am also a medical doctor by training. So I fully understand the sensitivities around women and also the mental health issues that are concerning us.
It is widely established through research and studies that, in a situation where the mental health resource is a scarcity, families form a valuable support system, which could be helpful in management of various stressful situations. Indian society is collectivistic and promotes social cohesion and interdependence. The traditional Indian joint family, which follows the same principles of collectivism, has proved itself to be an excellent resource for the care of the mentally ill.
Unlike the western society, which puts impetus on “individualism”, the Indian society is “collectivistic” in that it promotes interdependence and co-operation, with the family forming the focal point of this social structure. The Indian and Asian families are therefore, far more involved in caring of its members, and also suffer greater illness burden than their western counterparts. Indian families are more intimate with the patient, and are capable of taking greater therapeutic participation than in the west.
This is established in the below research paper published in Indian Journal of Psychiatry.
My statement about younger generation shying away from marriage and reproduction is also based on a survey. The findings of YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey shows that among millennials, 19% aren’t interested in either children or marriage. Another 8% want children but are not interested in marriage. Among post-millennials (or Gen Z adults), 23% aren’t interested in either children or marriage. As in the case of millennials, 8% want children but are not interested in marriage. There are very little gender-wise differences in these trends. It is applicable to both boys and girls.
The only point I was trying to convey was that our youth can find solution and solace to mental health issues like anxiety, depression and stress in our traditional family and its value system which offers a wonderful support system.
I would like to clarify that I had no intention to single out women nor did my words mean so. I urge everyone to go through the full speech which is available in my official Facebook Page.