Iswar Sankalpa was born in 2007 as a consequence of our burning desire to rehabilitate and reintegrate vulnerable homeless persons with psychosocial disabilities living in the streets and low-resource communities in Kolkata, West Bengal. Our organization works to provide holistic mental healthcare services and rebuilds individual capacity while upholding their rights and dignity.
The organization works through different programmes across different verticals—prevention of homelessness due to psychosocial disability, care and support for homeless persons with psychosocial disability, reintegration of persons in mainstream society, empowerment and rights and capacity building.
The different programmes of Iswar Sankalpa across the verticals are as mentioned below—
- Naya Daur - The flagship programme of Iswar Sankalpa aims to provide mental healthcare and allied services to these nowhere persons on the streets itself, through a multidisciplinary team. Such services for homeless persons with severe mental health problems were completely absent in the city of Kolkata in 2007, and continues to be absent in large parts of our country. The team involves a network of voluntary caregivers from the community to support the clients in their journey towards reclaiming their rightful place as citizens of the country.
- Sarbari & Marudyan(Shelters for Homeless Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities - The shelters extend a therapeutic roof over homeless persons with severe psychosocial disabilities, who are vulnerable on the streets. They focus on their recovery and rehabilitation by providing an array of client centred services, addressing their biopsychosocial needs. The shelter for women was established in 2010, and that for men in 2015, with the ardent support of the Social Welfare Department, Government of West Bengal. The goal is to promote clients’ holistic well-being, enabling them to maximise their capacities to serve as productive members of the society.
- URBAN MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMME (UMHP) - The programme aims at prevention of homelessness due to mental health issues, through early intervention and a focus on awareness building. Started in 2012, it is run in collaboration with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation in 5 wards of the city - 11, 26, 54, 78,82,37,96 and 6. It focuses on integration of mental health care with general healthcare in urban primary health centres and providing accessible and affordable healthcare to the underprivileged section of the society.
- Reintegration - The Reintegration Programme at Iswar Sankalpa aims at the ‘inclusion’ of persons who are marginalised due to psychosocial disability. This often leaves them with the inability to explore their full potential and live a life with dignity. The programme is both enabling and empowering; supporting homeless and home-based persons with psychosocial disability in the process of reintegration through multi-pronged interventions.
- Saksham(Vocational Training) - The Vocational Training Unit at Iswar Sankalpa, aims at training home-based and homeless persons with psychosocial disabilities in skills which will help them earn a livelihood, foster self-dependence, and help them become productive members of the society in a dignified manner.
- Restoration - Home is truly where one’s heart lies. We, at Iswar Sankalpa, relentlessly try to locate our clients’ homes from the moment they share some information about their families. Sometimes, we are provided with the complete address and the family is only a phone call away while other times we have to decipher cryptic and vague information related to a temple, a river, a railway station, or about a nearby factory. Linkages with key stakeholders (police stations, hospitals, colleges etc.) support the process. We believe that the family and the client often need to be prepared to live with one another after years of separation. Thus, the team provides Psychoeducation to the family and After-care to ensure sustainable restoration; periodic follow up phone calls, home visits, and hospital linkages are made to secure clients’ care network. Children meet their parents again, old parents meet their children again, husbands meet their wives - the reunion is always a special story about love and longing.
- Cafe Crust & Core - Crust and Core is a livelihood programme for homeless women with psychosocial disabilities. It is a cafe cum training unit where the women receive training in bakery and soft skills to be able to find employment in the F & B sector. It is envisaged as a sustainable programme which will support these women in their journey towards self-sustenance, towards becoming “Mind Champions”!
- Nayagram - Assited Community living program in Kashipore near Kolkata.