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   Seminar on employability and increasing performance on 12th November ,2009

     The seminar on employability and increasing performance organized by tuning point was held at the D.K.S. club premises on 12th November. The days program started with the registration of those present from 10 am to 10 30 am. After registration the welcome address was delivered by Mrs. Ishita Sanyal. She welcomed the delegates form Fountain House, Mr. Alan Doyle and Mr. Jonathan Glass. Fountain house is as organization based in the U.S.A which has similar philosophy as Turning Point
Next Mr. Kalayan Dasgupta President of Turing Point addressed the audience. He explained how in the initial days of Turing Point challenges were faced it was not known how to proceed with the mentally ill people, how to improve their quality of life & bring a change in them.In this scenario of darkens, Turing Point proceeded to light a lamp. People who did not know how to face the world now doing creditable jobs through the relentless effort of Turing Point

     Mrs Ishita Sanyal in her speech described how she founded Turning Point 12 years back. She realised the mental agony of family members of people suffering from mental illness. There was no organization working for the upliftment and rehabilitation of person suffering from mental illness. She started Turning Point with this aim of rehabilitation both social & economical as well as for growth & development of people with mental illness. Turning point has come a long way in theses twelve years. Today Turning Point has trained everyone to be computer literate which a necessity in today’s world as Turning Point had the courage to believe that the mentally ill were not incapable of computer education.

     Next, Mr. Sushanta Banerjee from the American library addressed the audience He talked about how the mentally ill are the most vulnerable member of society as they are the least understood. In India about 10% of the total population suffers from mental disorders. Some of them require long term treatment so that they can come back to the mainstream of life. Turning Point plays a crucial role in this respect. Mr. Banerjee highlighted the fact that libraries have a social responsibility to reach out to the mentally ill. Experiments have shown that patients undergoing reading therapy or bibliotherapy recover faster than those on conventional therapy. The American Library can work in conjunction with Turning Point to help in the rehabilitation of the mentally challenged.

     Mr. Jonatham Glass and Mr. Alan Doyle from fountain house said that they hoped for long term cooperation between Turning Point and Fountain House.

     Employability as perceived by sufferers:

The next two speakers Pandav and Anirban Bhadra, spoke on the need of employability as perceived by suffers. They spoke about how they were suffering form mental illness, low concentration and confidence levels. But the regular session they had with Mrs. Ishita Sanyal at Turing Point instilled in them confidence and the desire to succeed. They felt a burning desire to do something and now they are successful in their respective fields.

     Employability as perceived by parents

The next topic that was dealt with was “the need of employability as perceived by parents.” Mrs. Atasi Sengupta, a parent described the agony when her son was suffering form mental illness. But when he( her son) started coming to Turning Point under the guidance of Mrs. Ishita Sanyal, a drastic change occurred. Her son now regularly participates in the various cultural activities and his confidence and concentration has increased. The beneficiaries of Turing Point are increasing every day and she requested every one to come forward and help them.
Mr. Kar, the next speaker said his son was suffering form mental disorder. He was admitted in Turning Point. Regular counseling improved his performance and today he is working outside Turning Point & also fulfilling his job responsibilities as a confident person. The job opportunity was provided by Turning Point. If mentally ill person gets proper rehabilitation they can successfully engage themselves in society and fight against all odds.

     Mrs. Sutapa Charborty, human rights activities described how earlier mentally ill people were put in jail without any scope for rehabilitation. She spoke about how if patients are given proper training they can make paper bags, candle & handicrafts items which are comparable to any one in the society. She spoke about the need for occupational therapy for them.

     Employability as perceived by professionals

     Next, there was a presentation by Ishita Sanyal on “empowerment and employability of people with mental illness. She spoke about how the stigma associated with mental illness is present everywhere, although any one can suffer form mental illness at any time. Her presentation is given by the presentation employability of people with mental illness.

     Dr Abir Mukherjee addressed the gathering. He spoke about the historic evolution of rehabilitation, rehabilitation followed by resettlement, personal resettlement, economic resettlement and Social resettlement& the concept of sheltered employment. There was a question answer session where Mrs. Sutapa Chakralery and Mr Alan Doyle answered question from the audience. This was followed by lunch break. In the post lunch session, Mr Alan Doyle, Director of Fountain House, New York and Mr Jonothan glass Of fountain house addressed the audience. Mr Doyls spoke about Fountain house which started in 1948 and now serves thousand people annually. Fountain house, partner with local clinics and provides Psychiatric and general health services, employability services to the needed.. He spoke about transitional employment and supportive Employment

     There is a scope of Turning Point working collaboratively with Fountain House in 2010



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