indian cricket

NADA looking to bring BCCI under its purview, plans afoot to test cricketers during domestic season

NADA Director General Navin Agarwal said that they would soon approach the Committee of Administrators and BCCI CEO Rahul Johri in this regard.

The National Anti-Doping Agency could soon begin conducting random in-competition testing of cricketers from the next domestic season.

According to reports, the testing would be conducted in India’s domestic competitions such as the Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Duleep Trophy and Deodhar Trophy among other domestic tournaments.

“We would soon talk to COA and BCCI CEO Rahul Johri in this regard. We are sure of a positive outcome,” NADA Director General Navin Agarwal was quoted as saying by Tribune India. “ICC has been WADA compliant since 2006, and it’s the world governing body for cricket. So, I don’t see any problem in testing Indian cricketers. They (cricketers) are objecting about out-of-competition testing, which NADA won’t do.”

The International Cricket Council is an affiliated member of the World Anti-Doping Agency, but has faced opposition from BCCI, which has yet to come under their purview. Since 2013, drug tests are during India’s domestic competitions are conducted international firm, International Dope Tests and Management

“BCCI has engaged some company for the collection of samples, but NADA is the sole authority in India for dope testing. We hope to start testing from the coming domestic season,” Agarwal added.

The Board had earlier opposed WADA’s whereabouts clause with many cricketers not to keen on disclosing their whereabouts when not playing. Agarwal, though, maintained that BCCI would have to comply with NADA’s rules as ICC was already a signatory with WADA.

NADA, though, can only execute these plans once BCCI agrees to come on board. When contacted, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary informed NADA had sent no official communication with the board.

“There has been an impasse with NADA for a long time now. We have yet to receive any fresh communication from them in this regard,” Choudhary told Scroll.in. “Once we receive their letter, the subject will be discussed collectively by members of the board. We will take all factors in to consideration.”

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Changing the conversation around mental health in rural India

Insights that emerged from discussions around mental health at a village this World Mental Health Day.

Questioning is the art of learning. For an illness as debilitating as depression, asking the right questions is an important step in social acceptance and understanding. How do I open-up about my depression to my parents? Can meditation be counted as a treatment for depression? Should heartbreak be considered as a trigger for deep depression? These were some of the questions addressed by a panel consisting of the trustees and the founder of The Live Love Lough Foundation (TLLLF), a platform that seeks to champion the cause of mental health. The panel discussion was a part of an event organised by TLLLF to commemorate World Mental Health Day.

According to a National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), common mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders affect nearly 10% of the population, with 1 in 20 people in India suffering from depression. The survey reported a huge treatment gap, a problem that is spread far and wide across urban and rural parts of the country.

On 10th of October, trustees of the foundation, Anna Chandy, Dr. Shyam Bhat and Nina Nair, along with its founder, Deepika Padukone, made a visit to a community health project centre in Devangere, Karnataka. The project, started by The Association of People with Disability (APD) in 2010, got a much-needed boost after partnering with TLLLF 2 years ago, helping them reach 819 people suffering from mental illnesses and spreading its program to 6 Taluks, making a difference at a larger scale.

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During the visit, the TLLLF team met patients and their families to gain insights into the program’s effectiveness and impact. Basavaraja, a beneficiary of the program, spoke about the issues he faced because of his illness. He shared how people used to call him mad and would threaten to beat him up. Other patients expressed their difficulty in getting access to medical aid for which they had to travel to the next biggest city, Shivmoga which is about 2 hours away from Davangere. A marked difference from when TLLLF joined the project two years ago was the level of openness and awareness present amongst the villagers. Individuals and families were more expressive about their issues and challenges leading to a more evolved and helpful conversation.

The process of de-stigmatizing mental illnesses in a community and providing treatment to those who are suffering requires a strong nexus of partners to make progress in a holistic manner. Initially, getting different stakeholders together was difficult because of the lack of awareness and resources in the field of mental healthcare. But the project found its footing once it established a network of support from NIMHANS doctors who treated the patients at health camps, Primary Healthcare Centre doctors and the ASHA workers. On their visit, the TLLLF team along with APD and the project partners discussed the impact that was made by the program. Were beneficiaries able to access the free psychiatric drugs? Did the program help in reducing the distance patients had to travel to get treatment? During these discussions, the TLLLF team observed that even amongst the partners, there was an increased sense of support and responsiveness towards mental health aid.

The next leg of the visit took the TLLLF team to the village of Bilichodu where they met a support group that included 15 patients and caregivers. Ujjala Padukone, Deepika Padukone’s mother, being a caregiver herself, was also present in the discussion to share her experiences with the group and encouraged others to share their stories and concerns about their family members. While the discussion revolved around the importance of opening up and seeking help, the team brought about a forward-looking attitude within the group by discussing future possibilities in employment and livelihood options available for the patients.

As the TLLLF team honoured World Mental Health day, 2017 by visiting families, engaging with support groups and reviewing the successes and the challenges in rural mental healthcare, they noticed how the conversation, that was once difficult to start, now had characteristics of support, openness and a positive outlook towards the future. To continue this momentum, the organisation charted out the next steps that will further enrich the dialogue surrounding mental health, in both urban and rural areas. The steps include increasing research on mental health, enhancing the role of social media to drive awareness and decrease stigma and expanding their current programs. To know more, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of The Live Love Laugh Foundation and not by the Scroll editorial team.