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Disability Inclusive Development

 ‘Seher, Comprehensive Urban Community Mental Health and Inclusion Program’





Giving life to Article 19 (CRPD): The touchstone of the Bapu Trust since the advent of the CRPD, is 'transforming communities for inclusion' of persons with mental health problems and psychosocial disabilities. Towards this end, since 2009, the Bapu Trust has invested in developing a sustainable service delivery model, inspired by the CRPD, and the vision of Article 19 (Right to live independently and be include in communities).

Seher, (meaning 'Dawn' in Urdu), envisions sustainable psychosocial health and disability inclusion through community development. We aim to reach the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ population through providing comprehensive psychosocial services, thus providing a service delivery model for bridging a huge gap in Disability Inclusive Development. The Seher program is built upon principles of social entrepreneurship, i.e. multiplying resources for care and support through capacity building and community participation, and where needed, direct psychosocial services, to enable the full inclusion and participation of people with mental health issues and psychosocial disabilities.

The Mission of the Seher Urban Mental Health and Inclusion program (UCMHI) in low income communities (slums) is, to enable communities to be psychologically contained, their emotional needs met, being tolerant and inclusive of the mental health needs of a diversity of people, including those with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities. Through concerted multi level actions, and enculturing a very high level of partnerships, both government and non-government, Seher facilitates the creation of caring communities.

The Seher program is built upon principles of social entrepreneurship, i.e. multiplying emotional resources through community participation, to enable the full inclusion and participation of people with diverse needs. We believe that, just like money, natural resources and other material can be transacted across people and associations, so also, emotional resources can be transacted across people and populations for the betterment of all. Our Comprehensive urban mental health and inclusion program works with the following key strategies:

-       Multiplying emotional resources through the development of psychosocial support and care giving networks, both formal and non-formal

-       Provision of specific mental health and well being services to address diverse mental health needs using psychosocial, artsbased and community development modalities

-       Partnerships with the local government, non-state organised actors, and informal community actors towards inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities

-       Preparing the grassroots communities for giving care and support for people with mental health issues and / or having psychosocial disabilities

-       Continuously applying projects management principles to research and monitor our outcomes, and to advocate policy change

-       Continuously applying Self Evolution practices for upgradation of staff wellness and their professional development, through OD works

Over the last 10 years of its existence (2004- ), the Seher program has tried and research-tested different project designs, and researched on most of its key elements, by providing a service and also by overlaying the service with a research / impact evaluation component. We are satisfied and also very excited that our program is a feasible, cost effective, and therapeutically useful model to be replicated, in low income communities in the country and the Asian region.


Actions for 3 years

We are working towards upscaling the Seher model in Pune city, in 5 different slum regions, with active collaboration of the Municipality (Health Department, AYUSH, Urban Community Development Department, Disability Department), and a variety of local partners.

At present, we run

1. The 'Pehel Community wellness center' at Sonawane Hospital, PHC, Lohiyanagar, Pune.

2. The 'Dwi' Community wellness center at RajivGandhi Hospital, PHC, Yerawada, Pune.

We aim to pilot Courses and 'Capacity Building' curricula with more sweeping strides, to enhance ripple effects on mental health and wellbeing through the development sector in India and in Asia.

To know about the Seher Program see our microsite

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