Pune NGO to bat for people’s lives on Sept 10

Every 16 minutes, someone in the world commits suicide. Suicide is not chosen, it happens when pain exceeds our resources for coping with it and on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, Pune-based 'Connecting India' will conduct an awareness campaign.

'Connecting India' runs a helpline for those in emotional stress. The helpline numbers are 9922001122 and 1800-209-4353 gets at least 15-20 calls every day, says Viren Rajput, one of the volunteers. An awareness campaign will now be undertaken on September 9 and 10.

Set up in July 2005 by a group of socially sensitive citizens, led by Arnavaz Damania, came together to work for this cause, the organisation conducted capacity building programmes and workshops. There is a need to reduce the social stigma attached to mental illness and free interaction between children and their parents is encouraged.

Other programmes include peer educator programme in schools and colleges, awareness programmes and support for survivors of suicide loss. Capacity Building Programme in Community Development with other NGO's. On September 9 and 10, several colleges and NGOs will send volunteers for three hours for a mock demonstration.

Brochures will be given and we hope to reach out to 2,000 citizens during the two-day awareness campaign, says Rajput. The event will be held at Mazda Hall, inside Dastur School premises.

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