HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ today e-launched print as well as e-editions of the set of seven titles on ‘Psycho-Social impact of pandemic and lockdown and how to cope with’ under the corona studies series published by NBT (National Book Trust) India. Speaking on the occasion, the minister said, “To counter these formidable circumstances that the world is facing these days, NBT has brought out these remarkable and unparalleled set of books, and I hope that these books serve as guides to mental well-being of people at large.” The launching ceremony was followed by an e-interactive session with the researchers/authors of NBT study group.
Congratulating the NBT, India, for its unique efforts, Nishank expressed his gratitude towards researchers as well as those who have brought together this significant material in book form for easy reading of the people. He said that preventive mental health is an important subject area that we all need in these difficult times to go ahead and fight as warriors against the pandemic. He also quoted the famous lines “Mann ke haare har hai Mann ke jeete jeet“, which means that our mind and psychological well-being decides our actions.
The members of the Study Group shared their experiences with the minister, of having worked on the books from their respective homes, with coordination through technology, and on the unique experience of this exercise having been a therapeutic one for them as well, underlining the need of these books in today’s times. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jitendra Nagpal, eminent psychiatrist and member of the Study Group underlined the rather ‘unprecedented value addition that the area of psychological research and counselling that these books may entail in times to come, since very rarely in India a series of handbooks focused on Preventive Mental Health has ever been brought out’. Other members included Meena Arora, Lt. Col Tarun Uppal, Dr Harsheeta, Rekha Chauhan, Sonie Sidhu and Aprajita Dixit.
The Corona Studies Series has been especially conceptualised by NBT to document and provide relevant reading materials for all age-groups for the post-corona readership needs, under the first-sub series of books focused on ‘Psycho-Social Impact of Pandemic and How to Cope With’ prepared by a Study Group comprising of seven psychologists and counsellors constituted by NBT.
The titles launched following the study, look at the various aspects of Psycho-social impact on seven different segments of the society through personal interviews, case studies and community perceptions based on the response to the on-line questionnaire floated through the website and other social media handles of National Book Trust, India.
The study, which was conducted and analysed between 27 March and 1 May 2020, finds the ‘fear of infection as the greatest source of anxiety followed by financial and domestic issues.’ Study group has recommended ‘Strengthening of preventive mental health component of the National Mental Health Programme’ as a long term strategy to prepare a resilient and well-adapted post-corona society, along with physical health, and socio-economic adaptability. Enlivened with some beautiful illustrations, made by some of the very accomplished illustrators, the books also provide very valuable and practical tips to cope with the mental stress and anxiety that may have been caused due to the Pandemic and the lockdown.
The titles include Vulnerable in Autumn: Understanding the Elderly (Lead Researchers: Jitendra Nagpal and Aprajita Dixit; Illustrator: Aloy Ghoshal), The Future of Social Distancing: New Cardinals for Children, Adolescents and Youth (Lead Researchers: Aprajita Dixit and Rekha Chauhan Illustrator: Partha Sengupta); The Ordeal of Being Corona Warriors: An Approach to Medical and Essential Service Providers (Lead Researchers: Meena Arora and Sonie Sidhu; Illustrator: Saumya Shukla), New Frontiers At Home: An Approach to Women, Mothers and Parents (Lead Researchers: Tarun Uppal and Sonie Sidhu; Illustrator: Arya Prahraj), Caught in Corona Conflict: An Approach to the Working Population (Lead Researchers: Jitendra Nagpal and Tarun Uppal; Illustrator: Fazruddin), Making Sense of It All: Understanding the Concerns of Persons With Disabilities (Lead Researchers: Rekha Chauhan and Harsheeta; Illustrator: Viky Arya); and Alienation And Resilience: Understanding Corona Affected Families (Lead Researchers: Harsheeta and Meena Arora; Illustrator: Neetu Sharma). Seven videos complementing the book are also being launched along with the books, giving an overview of the content.
The titles are available at: NBT Bookshop at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi; NBT webstore at www.nbtindia.gov.in/cssbooks