Struggling through school as a self-supporting student, Vatwani successfully completed his medical studies in psychiatry at Grant Medical College and at G.S. Medical College & Hospital, both in Mumbai.
Dr. Vatwani and his wife started an informal operation of bringing mentally-ill street persons to their private clinic for treatment, leading them to establish Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation in 1988, aimed at rescuing mentally-ill persons living on the streets; providing free shelter, food, and psychiatric treatment; and reuniting them with their families.
Their rescue work has been aided by the police, social workers, and referrals. Shraddha’s free custodial care and treatment ranges from personal hygiene, medical check-ups, psychiatric treatment, to appropriate medication—all done in the open, healing environment of the Karjat facility.
In electing Bharat Vatwani to receive the 2018 Ramon Magsaysay Award, the board of trustees recognizes “his tremendous courage and healing compassion in embracing India’s mentally-afflicted destitute, and his steadfast and magnanimous dedication to the work of restoring and affirming the human dignity of even the most ostracized in our midst.”