Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched ‘Manodarpan’ initiative on July 21 to provide psychological support and counselling to students, parents and families for their mental health and emotional well being. Through this initiative, the central government aims to help students and parents to manage mental stress in a better manner.
Substantial psychological support system
HRD minister released a video on Twitter which tells us about the stress students and their parents face in this uncertain period.“The platform will act as a sustainable psychological support system for children and adolescents,” Nishank tweeted. In another tweet, he asked everyone to share suggestions regarding the platform using the hashtag #Manodarpan.
Helpline number, website and handbook
Manodarpan enables students to talk about the problems they have been facing in the period of lockdown. Under the initiative, the minister launched a toll-free National helpline number 8448440632 for those who need psychosocial assistance or counselling. Besides, they also launched the helpline number, a website of Manodarpan and a handbook on 21st-century life skills for the students, teachers and families. Those who need any psychosocial counselling are encouraged to visit the official website of Manodarpan Manodarpan.mhrd.gov.in or call on the helpline number.
Manodarpan initiative includes the following components:
1. Advisory guidelines
2. Web page/ website
3. National level database and a directory of counsellors
4. National toll-free helpline number – 8448440632
5. International online chat option
Handbook on 21st-century life skills –
Manodarpan initiative comes under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May. While addressing a press conference on May 17 Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharam had made the first announcement about the Manodarpan initiative.
“Reports revealed that many students required Psychological support amid the lockdown. Manodarpan will provide assistance or counselling to those students, teachers and parents who are stressed because of the lockdown”, the finance minister had said.
Global pandemic a psychological concern
During the launch of Manodarpan initiative, the HRD minister said, “Covid-19 is understandably a challenging time for people across the world. The global pandemic is not only a serious medical concern but also a psychological concern for all. The reports of mental health concerns for students and adolescents the pandemic situation are high. During this situation, children and adolescents may experience a highlighted level of stress, anxiety and fearfulness and other emotional and behavioural issues”.
“HRD Ministry has felt that along with education, emphasis needs to be given to mental health and well being of the students.”, HRD minister added.
Experts on duty
A working group including experts from the field of education, mental health and psychological issues. It has been set up to monitor the mental health issues and concerns of students, parents and families amid lockdown. Experts will provide support to address the psychological aspects amid lockdown through counselling services, helpline number and official website.