Lahore, Pakistan: Aligned with its goal to create positive impact, Kaarvan Crafts Foundation (Kaarvan) has highlighted the need for mental health facilities in rural Pakistan for Mental Health Awareness Month. Covid-19 has taken a huge toll on the Pakistani nation’s mental health but those in rural regions have had no access to anyone or anything that can help ease their mental illnesses. Since last year Kaarvan has actively worked to raise awareness about the need to open up conversations surrounding mental health and to amplify the voices of sufferers from all walks of life.
In June 2020, Kaaravan initiated a series of weekly talks on Facebook called ‘Kaarvan Conversations’. From country experts to innovators to professionals these conversations have been a continuous effort to highlight issues that the planet is facing especially mental health.
Professionals in the role of psychiatrists, psychotherapists, maternal healthy founders and geneticists including Farah Tiwana, Sana Ajmal, Mehreen Shahid and Dr. Rabia Khan who have all worked in the field of mental health or female health in general came to speak with Kaarvan on the urgent need to assess the mental toll the pandemic is taking. They all stressed upon the urgency with which rural women in particular need access to help. A special episode with the poet and mental health advocate Zahra Hameed and her husband the lawyer Usman Raza Jamil was also conducted about the need to speak up about mental health.
With the third wave causing devastation and Pakistan in lockdown again, Kaarvan offers ‘I Kept Walking’ a biography in Urdu and English of their artisan Kalsoom Tahira available at www.kaarvan.com.pk
This story is an example of what a woman in the rural area faces, her struggles, the toll it takes and what she must do to overcome. Tahira’s story is one of a million and yet it is not too different in terms of the struggle and hardships. Sadly, these women have never received the mental health support they need to heal as they continue to strive for a better life.
Kaarvaan Crafts Foundation was established as a not-for-profit company in 2004. Kaarvan strives to create a world of cooperation and collaboration where men and women stand side by side as equals. Our local research has shown that after three months of grassroots community work more than 51% of the women were able to improve the lives of their children.