Mental Healthcare bill, a blessing for civil services aspirant
Steve Jobs once said that one has to really love something to succeed in it. The reasoning was that the amount of effort required to succeed is much more than a rational person would put in. Civil Services aspirants are no different. With chances of success so low, less than 0.001%, they still put their career at stake. They have to be put in irrational category. Some of the aspirants after completing their attempts or crossing age are demanding relaxations so that they can continue chasing their love. Nonetheless, Modi Government has done a favour to aspirants by passing the Mental Health Care bill.
Depression is on the rise among youth in India. While 36% of Indian population is under some form of stress, the majority of depression patients are young people. Civil services aspirants despite being highly motivated are not immune to depression. Indeed, a cursory look at ForumIas online platform suggests that every now and then threads crop up which shows helplessness. The latest trending one is called “how to deal with depression ? old/unmarried/injob junta.” Further, there has been increasing footprint of soothsayers and astrologers in student hubs like Mukherjee Nagar and Rajendra Nagar in Delhi. They say faith becomes even strong when person is totally helpless. The point is that circumstantial evidence proves that there are many depressed youth in the civil services race. And Mr. Modi has atlast listened to such voices.
The first provision is that now aspirants can get guaranteed affordable treatment for mental illness. It is now made to be a right. Thus, one can complain to health authorities if they cannot access mental health treatment. Second, given the strong sense of individual rights which aspirants get after reading Laxmikant’s polity 30-40 times, the mentally ill will be treated with some dignity. Thus, atleast the aspirants won’t get electric shocks and also they can give advance directive of how they would like to be treated (This is a major opportunity for First attempt people, they shall sign the required documents before it gets late and they cannot give informed consent). Third, suicide is also decriminalised. Only problem is that killing other people still stay a crime for aspirants. In 2015 an aspirant attacked 20 people with sword before getting shot by the police. But in any case the idea is that aspirants shall not go this far into illness that they track other people, that is why affordable and accessible treatment in the primary stages of illness. Thus, there are many great provisions in the act for the aspirants.
It shows that the government really cares. I do not know what will come out of the demand for more attempts and age relaxation now, but government does have a safety net in place.