Sri Lanka in India

India seven wickets away from sealing a 2-0 series win as pollution takes center-stage again

Jadeja struck twice in the last over of the day to rattle the visitors.

Sri Lanka were reeling on 31-3 while chasing a daunting 410-run victory target Tuesday in a pollution-tainted third Test in New Delhi blighted by scenes of bowlers vomiting on the ground.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja struck twice in an over to rattle the visitors, who must bat out three more sessions to save the match, while a win to draw the series with top-ranked India seems improbable now.

Dhanajaya de Silva was on 13 and Angelo Mathews had yet to open his account when bad light stopped play at the smoggy Feroz Shah Kotla ground.

Fast bowler Mohammad Shami dismissed opener Sadeera Samarawickrama off a roaring bouncer but stopped in mid-over to vomit, crouching down and then gulping water.

He went on to complete the over but left the field shortly afterwards.

In the morning session it was Sri Lankan paceman Suranga Lakmal who threw up twice. He went to the dressing room briefly but returned to the field, bowling 14 overs and taking one wicket.

Groundsmen rushed in to cover the spot with sand and sawdust as smog in the heavily polluted Indian capital took centre stage for a fourth day in a row.

A doctor at the stadium examined three Sri Lankan players and said their vital signs were normal.

Skipper Virat Kohli, who made 50, declared India’s second innings on 246-5 after Rohit Sharma reached his half-century in the final session, setting the visitors a formidable victory target.

No Test team has chased down 410 since 2003, when the West Indies defeated Australia after making 418 runs.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan top-scored in India’s second innings with 67 on an easy wicket. Apart from Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan and Dhananjaya de Silva took a wicket each.

Earlier, Sri Lanka were dismissed for 373, conceding a 163-run lead to India who had declared on 536 for seven.

But it was the hazardous smog in Delhi that again dominated the day.

The US embassy website showed concentrations of the smallest and most harmful particles at 398 – 15 times the World Health Organization’s safe limit. Conditions were even worse on Monday.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India said late Monday that New Delhi could be dropped as a venue during winter, when pollution across the region spikes.

BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary said venues would be reconsidered “in view of the situation which was encountered in the last two to three days”.

“The BCCI has been sensitive on the smog and fog matter over the years,” he added.

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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.