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Service Users' say

R.B. :

SAA has been the best medicine for me ever since I discovered I have schizophrenia. The various activities here have really assisted in my recuperating. Singing, my in-born talent, which I enjoy doing along with gardening. Since I am from the J.J School of Art, I also enjoy drawing and painting as a hobby. Being the first and only student of this Centre for many months initially, I got personal attention. I also have learnt several other skills like hand-embroidery and cooking. It's been a boon and every morning I look forward to coming to this Centre.


P.K. :

Dr. Jagannath Wani Rehabilitation Centre  has taught me a lot of things and given me hope and skills. Earlier I did not know how to even operate a sewing machine but now I can make creative use to produce bags, cushion covers, aprons etc. I used to paint on paper before but now I am able to do Warli painting on hankies, bedspreads, table covers, dresses etc. When such products that I make get sold and I get some income and that gives me hope that I can stand on my own feet. I even take work home on the weekends for completion. We shubharthis take orders for painted panaties (earthen lamps), masala and chutney powders etc. Every Tuesday we cook snacks or masala powders due to which my interest in the kitchen work has increased and my parents also appreciate this change in me. I get the opportunity to learn all these things because I come here regularly. The credit for my recovery goes to SAA because of which I feel deep love and respect for it.


M.D. :

When I learned that I am suffering from schizophrenia then my world around me collapsed and the relations I shared with my in-laws was severed and I felt very alone in the world. Because of the unfaltering support of my father, I came to SAA. SAA has really helped me a lot, the Self Help Group meeting and the activity centre have helped me in recovering from my depression. I got a feeling that I also have achieved something in my life.

The staff and volunteers are very loving and understanding so I don't hesitate in approaching them with my problems. This place has a homely environment so I get involved from my body and soul. As I forget about all my personal problems I want to continue coming here without fail. I involve myself in all the activities here and after that I get the confidence that I too can come out of this illness and start living independently.

If this activity centre starts offering residential facility then it would be really good for all the persons who are alone.


Family Caregivers' say


Mr. Kashelikar :

I am AvinashKashelikar. After my retirement I shifted to Pune. When I came in Pune my daughter was suffering from delusions, social phobia, anxiety, negative attitude, low confidence etc. she also had fear of managing her daily activities independently. She was admitted in SAA’s Rehabilitation Centre in 2015. Varity of activities like Art Based Therapy (ABT), drum therapy, use of music, Dance Movement Therapy and Yoga have helped her to overcome her problems.

Encouraging activities of the Centre like presenting Centre’s Activities on stage by Shubharthis has helped her to develop stage confidence. She has developed confidence to live and manage activities independently. She pursued music and appeared for the music examination conducted by GandharvaMahvidyalaya, in which she won the 1st prize . She now conducts music classes at SAA with full confidence. Activity of living together, kitchen activity has helped her to developed insight that lead to sensitivity in helping family household work. Stitching, Warli painting, file making and other income generating activities have helped her to earn financial incentives and also has boosted her self esteem and moral. All credit of change in shubhrathis is given to therapeutic approach and the commitment of staff at SAA.


Mr. Gosavi :

Myself, Mr. Subhash Gosavi , wish to express gratitude towards SAA. My daughter Swati, 40 years old, was a very bright student, always used to score high. However, in 1997, when she was studying in the 3rd year of engineering developed symptoms like suspiciousness, irritability and inferiority complex about inability to manage day to day life activities. We were not aware about mental Illness then,hence, we could not give her any treatment.

After my retirement in 2001, I shifted to Pune from Malegaon and started treatment from Dr. Watve .He referred us for admission at SAA ,Swati wasadmitted to SAA in 2007. Initially she did not like to attend SAA activities.However, a very committed and responsible team has helped her in realizing importance of attending SAA day care centre. Her admission in SAA was the only respite for myself and my wife, otherwise Swati had made our life very miserable, due to her symptoms. At SAA Swati got encouragement and appreciation for her qualities and skills. Counselors helped her in gaining her confidence and maintaining sociability. We find about 85% improvement in Swati, it has helped us to keepour peace of mind and ability to cope with the stress. The managing committee members and the team at SAA, are really doing very good work about creating awareness about mental illness through various activities.I thank the team at SAA,for bringing a very positive change and recovery in my daughter.


Volunteer Says


Neeta Koparkar:

Yoga: A Way to Recovery:

I, Neeta Koparkar, joined SAA as a volunteer in the 9 years at SAA’s Day Rehabilitation Centre. While I helped in various activities and in 2016 became a trustee also, my main work in SAA has remained that of a Yoga Teacher. We conduct Yoga Class every day for one hour. The first 10 minutes, we do warm up exercises, followed by yogasanas. Some yogasanas are done in lying down position and some in sitting position. Thereafter we do 12 Surya namaskars and finally shavasan for 5 to 10 minutes to relax fully. Last 15 minutes are devoted to breathing exercises, pranayam and recitation of Omkara. To avoid boredom from the same routine, I often make some changes in the sequence, introduce new asanas and sometime conduct fun games, including aerobics, which provide change and also enough physical activity. There are occasional banters, chitchat and humour so that the activity is not monotonous. Daily doing Yogasanas has good effect on service user’s body as well as mind.


The service users feel energetic and remain calm. Physical exercises help in keeping body parts flexible and promote blood circulation. Breathing exercises help in improving lungs’ functioning as well as in concentration. All the service users at the Day Rehab attend Yoga class willingly and in fact look forward to it. When I took over as yoga teacher at the Rehab Centre, every day some 3/4 of the group would find some excuse to avoid doing yoga. Over a period, all of them are now hooked to Yoga and many of them are ready to monitor the yoga class by rotation. For breathing exercises and Omkara chanting, all of them do it by themselves. When I joined SAA as yoga teacher, one of the service users, due to his illness was not ready even to stretch his hand for relaxation exercise. He used to take 10 minutes even to move from his place. I am happy to say that now he is able to do continuous 12 surya namaskars which is very strenuous for anybody. It is gratifying for me that in the last few years, none of my yoga students, having come to the Rehab Centre, has abstained from the yoga session. They all perform yogasanas nicely and skillfully, which has helped in calming them down, reducing their anxiety levels and negativity. They feel less tense and we notice improved confidence in them. Yoga has definitely helped in their journey towards recovery.


Staff Says


Kadambari Kulkarni :

Kadambari Kulkarni, Clinical Psychologist at SAA’s Day Rehab Centre I came to SAA in the year 2014. Before coming to SAA I was working with children having learning disability. I took break for one year due to my personal reasons and then got the opportunity to work with SAA. Everyone in SAA welcomed me with open arms and put me at ease. I was under study to my senior colleague Sarika who made me learn the ropes. Apart from counselling and therapy sessions, I have been meticulously maintaining files on their slow and steady progress and occasional hiccups. I have been preparing reports on various therapy sessions and assisting volunteers and guests who come to conduct special therapeutical sessions. My special attention has been on improving hygiene levels of some of the service users.

I have been using ‘’Token Economy’’ as a part of Behaviour Therapy to improve their hygiene levels. They earn non-monetary, non-consumable ‘tokens’ as a reward, to achieve hygiene standards. These tokens have no intrinsic value but are exchanged for various goods or privileges. To earn a star convertible to a chocolate, they maintain hygiene assigned to them with support from their family. ‘’Token Economy’’ experiment has certainly brought improvements; those who participate in this project, enthusiastically come and show their trimmed nails, brushed teeth and confirm their having come after a bath and a fresh set of clothes. We have over 20 activities at our Centre most of which are tailred as therapies. We have staff and volunteers ratio 1 for each 4/5 service users. Some of the distinguished visitors to our Centre have commented that at no other Rehab Centre, they have found so many activities and so much individual attention and the files so meticulously made.

Such flattering comments make us work with double vigour. It is so satisfying to observe their coming out of their shells, giving occasional smiles, developing insights and slowly coming down of their symptoms. There are occasional disappointments when there are slide downs for no apparent reasons. We have learnt to accept such disappointments as professionals. We are a closely-knit family in SAA. There are volunteers, some of whom do not want to be reimbursed even their travel costs. For staff also, remunerations are secondary. We work because of our commitment and would not get lured by a few extra rupees outside SAA. There is a perfect bonding and firm commitment. It is great working for SAA which is a second home for us.

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