Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on 15 May 2020 e-Launched print as well as e-editions of the set of seven titles on "Psycho-Social impact of pandemic & lockdown and how to Cope With" under the Corona Studies Series published by National Book Trust (NBT) India. Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister said, "To counter these formidable circumstances that the world is facing these days, NBT has brought out these remarkable and unparalleled set of books, and I hope that these books serve as guides to the mental well-being of people at large." The launching ceremony was followed by an e-interactive session with the researchers/authors of NBT Study Group.
Congratulating the National Book Trust (NBT), India for its unique efforts, Shri Nishank expressed his gratitude towards researchers as well who have brought together this significant material in book form for easy reading of the people. He said that preventive mental health is an important subject area that we all need in these difficult times to go ahead and fight as warriors against the pandemic. He also quoted the famous lines "Mann ke haare har hai Mann ke jeete Jeet," which means that our mind and psychological well-being decides our actions.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman NBT, Prof. Govind Prasad Sharma said, "In my age, I have seen many epidemics and diseases affecting the world, but what we are facing today is challenging because it is affecting the psychology of even those who are not Corona-affected. Hence the need for these books is of utmost importance, and they will serve the needs of the readers not only in India but abroad as well." Prof. Sharma also thanked the Hon'ble Minister for his guidance and his efforts in ensuring that children across India are not affected by this pandemic and has ensured e-learning for all.
Director NBT, Shri Yuvraj Malik, under whose leadership the entire project was conceived and executed, thanked the Union HRD Minister and Chairman, NBT, for their continuous guidance, and also congratulated entire NBT team as well as the researchers and illustrators for completing the project in the record time of four weeks. He said that more new content will be brought out by NBT in due course of time to meet the reading needs of the post-Corona readers.
The members of the Study Group shared their experiences with the Union HRD Minister, of having worked on the books from their respective homes, with coordination through technology, and on the unique experience of this exercise has been a therapeutic one for them as well, underlining the need of these books in today's times. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Jitendra Nagpal, eminent Psychiatrist and member of the Study Group underlined the rather 'unprecedented value addition that the area of psychological research and counselling that these books may entail in times to come, since very rarely in India a series of handbooks focused on Preventive Mental Health has ever been brought out'. Other members included, Ms. Meena Arora, Lt. Col. Tarun Uppal, Dr. Harsheeta, Ms. Rekha Chauhan, Ms. Sonie Sidhu and Ms. Aprajita Dixit.
Shri Kumar Vikram, NBT Editor and Project Head of this series also thanked the authors, illustrators and shared his experience of working on the project under lockdown with a team of more than 30 members from the Editorial, Art, Production, IT, PR, Sales sections to bring out the publications in time for the general reader. He also underlined that the ‘NBT’s role of a national body for book publishing and promotion in these times has become all the more important since well-organised information in the form of books have a long-term impact on the readers and the same is being provided by the Trust through these initiatives.’
The Corona Studies Series has been specially conceptualized by NBT to document and to provide relevant reading materials for all age-groups for the post-Corona readership needs, under the first-sub series of books focused on ‘Psycho-Social Impact of Pandemic and How to Cope With’ prepared by a Study Group comprising of seven psychologists and counsellors constituted by NBT.
The titles launched following the Study, look at the various aspects of Psycho-social impact on seven different segments of the society through personal interviews, case studies and community perceptions based on the response to the on-line questionnaire floated through the website and other social media handles of National Book Trust, India.
The study, which was conducted and analyzed between 27th March and 1st May 2020, finds the ‘fear of infection as the greatest source of anxiety followed by financial and domestic issues.’ Study Group has recommended ‘strengthening of Preventive Mental Health component of the National Mental Health Programme’ as a long term strategy to prepare a resilient and well-adapted post-Corona society, along with physical health, and socio-economic adaptability. Enlivened with some beautiful illustrations, made by some of the very accomplished illustrators, the books also provide very valuable and practical tips to cope with the mental stress and anxiety that may have been caused due to the Pandemic and the Lockdown.
The titles include Vulnerable in Autumn: Understanding the Elderly (Lead Researchers: Jitendra Nagpal and Aprajita Dixit; Illustrator: Aloy Ghoshal), The Future of Social Distancing: New Cardinals for Children, Adolescents and Youth (Lead Researchers: Aprajita Dixit and Rekha Chauhan Illustrator: Partha Sengupta); The Ordeal of Being Corona Warriors: An Approach to Medical and Essential Service Providers (Lead Researchers: Meena Arora and Sonie Sidhu; Illustrator: Saumya Shukla), New Frontiers At Home: An Approach to Women, Mothers and Parents (Lead Researchers: Tarun Uppal and Sonie Sidhu; Illustrator: Arya Prahraj), Caught in Corona Conflict: An Approach to the Working Population (Lead Researchers: Jitendra Nagpal and Tarun Uppal; Illustrator: Fazruddin), Making Sense of It All: Understanding the Concerns of Persons With Disabilities (Lead Researchers: Rekha Chauhan and Harsheeta; Illustrator: Viky Arya); and Alienation And Resilience: Understanding Corona Affected Families (Lead Researchers: Harsheeta and Meena Arora; Illustrator: Neetu Sharma).
Seven videos complementing the book are also being launched along with the books, giving an overview of the content.
The titles are available at NBT Bookshop at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
NBT Webstore at: www.nbtindia.gov.in
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