India is world’s most depressed country with most numbers of anxiety, bipolar disorder cases

mental health, anxiety, depression, unhealthy lifestyle, heart disease, Indian Express, Indian Express news


Most of us still don’t like to talk about mental health in public. It is imperative that we do because according to a World Health Organization report, India is the world’s most depressed country, closely followed by China and the US. According to the 2015-16 National Mental Health Survey (NMHS), every sixth person in India needs mental health help of some sort. Of all the age groups, it is the adolescents who need it the most.

At least 6.5 per cent of the Indian population suffer from some form of the serious mental disorder, with no discernible rural-urban differences. Though there are effective measures and treatments, there is an extreme shortage of mental health workers and experts.

Although there have been several campaigns on mental health in the country, the count of suicide attempts due to depression hasn’t gone down much. Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone who has battled depression in the past, with her The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF) has been trying to spread awareness. The actor in a statement said, “When we were talking about more celebrities coming out and speaking and when we were talking about stigma, there is a lot of miscommunication that depression happens to people who are successful.”

TLLLF had released a report in 2017, based on views of 3,556 respondents across eight Indian cities that highlighted the importance of focused stigma-reduction programmes. It said that as many as 87 per cent of the respondents in the survey felt mental illness was a disorder.

Sexual harassment at workplace explained

sexual harassment vishakha guidelines

Sexual harassment at workplace was not originally conceived as a separate offence in the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The question drew first attention in India in 1997. The credit goes to the instrument of Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which, itself, is a creation of judiciary. An NGO, called Vishakha, took a case of gangrape in Rajasthan to the Supreme Court challenging the Rajasthan High Court verdict.

While hearing the matter, the Supreme Court noted the lack of legal recourse against sexual harassment at workplace. The Supreme Court defined what would constitute sexual harassment at workplace and issued guidelines that were to have statutory value until a proper law was enacted by Parliament.

Before the Supreme Court set the law against sexual harassment at workplace in order, such cases were dealt under IPC Section 354 (outraging the modesty of women) and Section 509 (using a word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).

In the concerned case, a Rajasthan government employee with the Women’s Development Project was gangraped for campaigning against and stopping child marriage. Powerful landlords of a village, not very far from Rajasthan’s capital, Jaipur, were accused of perpetrating the crime as they were enraged by the “guts” of a “lowly-born woman” who opposed marriage of a child of Gurjar family.

The incident took place in 1992. Both the trial court and the high court found the accused not guilty.

A group of activists, under Vishakha, moved the Supreme Court in 1997. And, sexual harassment at workplace got a definition in India. It took another 16 years for Parliament to replace the Vishakha guidelines with a law called, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.


What is sexual harassment?

In simple words, sexual harassment at workplace is an act or a pattern of behaviour that compromises physical, emotional or financial safety and security of a woman worker. Legally speaking, sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually determined behaviour as:

a) physical contact and advances;
b) a demand or request for sexual favours;
c) sexually coloured remarks;
d) showing pornography;
e) any other unwelcome physical verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.

Sexual harassment is also understood to have taken place if a victim has reasonable apprehension of facing humiliation, and health and safety problem at the place of her work.

If the employer or the co-workers by any action or words or gesture create a hostile environment for a woman worker, it amounts to sexual harassment.

The 2013 Act has also defined a quid pro quo arrangement undermining the consent of the aggrieved woman employee as sexual harassment. This is a significant clause as it removes the oft-referred defence by the accused that the act was consensual in exchange for some favour. The authority of the aggressor has been taken into account under this provision.

Under the law, physical contact between the aggressor and the victim is not required for the occurrence of sexual harassment. Verbal abuses, lewd jokes, sexual gestures, sharing of pornographic material, spreading rumours to tarnish reputation or any other act that creates a hostile work environment constitutes sexual harassment.

The law and the Vishakha guidelines don’t put a restriction of time period for lodging a complaint of sexual harassment.

A person found guilty of sexual harassment at workplace may be sent to prison for three years under modified IPC Section 354.

In cases of rape, the maximum punishment is decided in accordance of Section 376 – life imprisonment except when victim dies or is left in vegetative state.

WORLD SIGHT DAY Blind walk shows the way

Blind walk shows the way

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12

Over 500 persons experienced “life without vision” during a ‘blind walk’, which was organised to celebrate World Sight Day.

The walk was organised to raise awareness about the problems faced by persons with visual impairment.

Those are born with the gift of vision were blindfolded during the walk and were led by 50 visually impaired students from Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, here.

Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu flagged off the walk. He also walked along with the aspirants.

While appreciating the efforts of the Dialogue Highway, Navjot Sidhu said: “I am happy to be a part of this unique initiative, which keeps humanity alive. I am of the opinion that visually impaired people do not need sympathy. They need to be respected and given equal rights. I announce a grant of Rs 5 lakh to the Trust that has been doing great work. We will give this grant every year till I stay in the ministry”.

The walk witnessed the participation from volunteers, social activists, doctors and students from local schools and colleges. Prominent among who joined the walk included state president of the Chandigarh BJP Sanjay Tandon, PGI Director Jagat Ram, Punjabi actress Japji Khaira, Punjabi singer Pammi Bhai, Hardeep Gill and Gurkirpal Surapuri.

Sanjay Tandon gave away the prizes to the organisations that are working for the welfare of visually impaired people.

Dialogue Highway’s managing trustee and well-known food policies analyst Devinder Sharma said: “Figures show that there are 4 crore visually impaired people across the globe, while the tally stands at 1.5 crore in India. As per the Census 2011, there are 2,852 visually impaired persons in Chandigarh. Millions of people have joined hands in spreading awareness across the world by carrying out blind walks at different places across the globe. Such initiatives will go a long way”.

Only 1 in 10 companies want to hire women: Report

A World Economic Forum (WEF) study has revealed that companies in India that are witnessing the highest growth prefer hiring men, and technology-led job growth benefits men more than women.

The alarming report by WEF has also stated that while one in three companies preferred hiring men, only one in 10 companies said they wanted to hire more women.

Here’s more.

Country's female workforce participation lower than global average

Country’s female workforce participation lower than global average

As per the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE), more women now go to college than men and there is an equal number of both in undergraduate science programmes.

However, the recently-published WEF’s “Future of Work in India” report suggests that the country’s female workforce participation, which is a mere 27%, stands 23 percentage points lower than the global average.


A third of the companies had no female employees: Study

While the study found that men were disproportionately benefiting from technology-led jobs, it also found out that a third of the companies had no female employees.

As per the study, 71% of companies have less than 10% female workers, and only 2.4% have 50% or more females.

Only 11% companies stated they wanted to hire more women and 36% reported preference for men.

And, what about the informal work?

And, what about the informal work?

The study says 75% of freelancers are men and the participation of women in freelance work dropped from 37% for women with up to five years’ experience to 10% for women with more than 10 years’ experience.

The concept of informal work includes unpaid work of the family, in which women participate three time more than men.

International Day of the Girl Child 11 October

A five-year-old student in Buchanan City, Liberia in June 2016.

“On this International Day of the Girl, let us recommit to supporting every girl to develop her skills, enter the workforce on equal terms and reach her full potential. ” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres


Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

2018 theme: With Her: A Skilled GirlForce

Today’s generation of girls are preparing to enter a world of work that is being transformed by innovation and automation. Educated and skilled workers are in great demand, but roughly a quarter of young people – most of them female – are currently neither employed or in education or training.

Of the 1 billion young people – including 600 million adolescent girls – that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90% of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector, where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common.

On 11 October, International Day of the Girl, we are working alongside all girls to expand existing learning opportunities, chart new pathways and calling on the global community to rethink how to prepare them for a successful transition into the world of work.

Under the theme, With Her: A Skilled GirlForce, International Day of the Girl will mark the beginning of a year-long effort to bring together partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to, the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability.