Karuna Trust’s (KT) focus has been to deliver affordable, integrated healthcare services through innovative yet scalable public-private-partnership initiatives. However, KT has frequently expanded its mandate to implement innovative projects relevant to a local area’s requirements. These projects are in areas of secondary medical care, promoting rational & low cost drug use, community health insurance and integrated rural development – health, education and livelihood.
The problem of the homeless mentally ill is a product of social neglect and lack of support from government agencies. In 2007, Karuna Trust (KT) established the Manasa Transit Care Center in Mysore. Manasa strives to establish a comprehensive model for care, support and rehabilitation of the homeless mentally ill. The Center serves as a short stay home and has a capacity of accommodating 75 women. The Center provides its inmates with medical and psychiatric care, occupational and psychotherapy, vocational training, legal aid and counseling and facilitates rehabilitation with their families.
KT also partners with the State Government Shelter for the Homeless (Nirashritara Parihara Kendra) for identifying mentally ill persons, while simultaneously helping the Shelter improve its facilities and methods of working. KT has taken the program to the primary health care level by integrating basic mental health care with general health services offered in the 25 PHCs in Karnataka that it manages.
KT in collaboration with LOCOST, Baroda is helping NGOs and hospitals stock and distribute low cost but high quality essential generic drugs. Additionally KT stocks and runs Biocare Pharmacies, in collaboration with Arogya Raksha Yojana Trust.
KT, in collaboration with UNDP, is working on mainstreaming traditional medicine in primary healthcare. India has the world’s one of the richer medicinal plant health cultures that has both formal (codified) and oral (folk) tradition. Village communities, particularly tribal groups and women, have been the traditional carriers of indigenous knowledge about medicinal plants. KT is working on:
- Integration of traditional medicines in 20 PHCs.
- Preparation of an essential drug and standard treatment guidelines for the Indian System of Medicine.
- Improving of awareness about the use and efficacy of traditional medicine in schools, aanganwadis and self-help groups.
- Establishing herbal gardens in rural schools in the PHC area.
Karuna Trust (KT) has implemented integrated rural development projects in Yelandur and T. Narsipura in Karnataka. The premise for undertaking these projects is simple: sustainability in all development programs can be achieved only if the livelihood security, community development and empowerment are incorporated.
In 1996, KT extended its activities to T. Narasipura taluk, covering over a 2-lakh population spread over 5 Clusters, 36 Gram Panchayats, 2 Town Panchayats and 210 Villages. Dr. M. Nagaraju and Smt. Renuka Nagaraju Family Charitable Trust provided with the financial support for this initiative.