- 22-year-old Kairavi Bharat Ram has written a kids' book about depression
- The book is titled ’C is for Cat, D is for Depression'
- She wrote on mental health issues due to her own experience with depression
New Delhi: 22-year-old author, Kairavi Bharat Ram has written a children’s book about depression, especially among younger children. Ms Ram says that depression among children is not something talked about enough in India. The book is titled, ’C is for Cat, D is for Depression’ weaves in stories of despair along with stories of courage and grit. The book describes depression using metaphors, colours and textures, and takes children down a path full of dark clouds, storms and sticky mud and shows that there is always a little bit of hope waiting for around the corner.
This is Ms Ram’s fourth book at the age of 22, however, this particular book is really close to her. She shared with NDTV that she has started writing about mental health issues due to her own experience with depression.
My issues with depression started when I was in class 11th. I was just a young child and I feel that if I had known about it earlier, if I knew what the symptoms were, what to look out for or simply – what depression was – we may have been able to detect it earlier. Maybe if it would’ve been detected earlier, I wouldn’t have had to go through what I did. That’s why I wanted to write a book on the topic specifically for children, so that they are aware of what mental health problems are, they can notice their signs and symptoms and also for the people around those suffering from mental health issues.
She further said that it is important for us to create awareness at this age. The book consists of a combination of rhymes and illustrations, so that for the 20-minutes that children are reading this book, they are transported into the world of those dealing with such issues and can understand what the person is going through and support them better, she added.
During the pandemic, mental health issues have only got worse. Various studies and experts have pointed out the increase in depression, anxiety, stress, among other mental health issues. Ms Ram says that she feels the book has come out at a perfect timing, even though it has been in works for the last three years.
I wrote the book three years ago, it was a really long process for it to come out but I think this is perfect time for the book to launch, as people need now it more than ever. The good thing about all of this is that mental health issues are become a less of a stigma now. Almost everybody has been experiencing some sort of mental health issue amid the COVID-19 pandemic; it may be more prominent now, but it has always been a problem. People are just getting a little bit more comfortable in talking about as it is not such an unheard thing anymore.
Ms Ram says that people in general are less likely to accept such issues in a child, because it is looked at as an adult issue.
If you don’t have a big problem in your life, like you’re not from a broken home; you’re not validated enough to have mental health issues according to society. Even though these views are changing with time, there’s a long way to go.
Talking about the late actor, Sushant Singh Rajput, who died by suicide on June 14, 2020. Ms Ram said,
When Mr Rajput passed away, I feel people were then taken back and were talking about depression. People across the nation couldn’t believe that a successful star like him, who had so much going in his career would take his own life. It showed us how you could have the perfect life on paper but deep down, still be depressed. But I think the way it blew up, definitely undid all the progress that was made. With all the conspiracies, people were like see I told you, somebody like him can’t be depressed. And now, the situation got so convoluted that no one is even discussing mental health issues anymore.
Ms Ram said what could’ve been a completely positive learning, got a new angle among the people. And on World Mental Health Day, she appeals everyone to do their bit and increase awareness about it.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.