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Budget 2020: FM must form panel to encourage shepreneurs, consider promoting first aid for mental health

Omnicuris boss Savitha Kuttan and Mpower's Neerja Birla are hopeful of a good year.

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Last Updated: Jan 17, 2020, 04.57 PM IST
From mental health to women safety, women business leaders have a list of suggestions for this year's Budget.
NEW DELHI: India Inc's women bosses are hopeful of a grand year as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to present her second Budget on February 1.

The Omnicuris boss, Savitha Kuttan - who is an entreprenuer herself - wants the Government to improve women's safety, work-life balance and easy loan schemes by forming a special committee. Meanwhile, Mpower's Neerja Birla is batting for better mental healthcare facilities. She believes that basic training in mental healthcare hygiene and prevention is essential.

Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson of Mpower
"Hopefully, the Union Budget 2020 will bring about a ‘Mental Healthcare’ revolution, giving it the attention it deserves. The cost of implementing Mental Health Act (MHA) 2017 is pegged at Rs 94,000 crore. To implement MHA 2017 successfully, greater funding needs to be consciously and imperatively allocated for a comprehensive infrastructure. We desperately need more hospitals, beds, in-patient facilities and trained personnel for the timely diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illnesses. To reduce the alarming gap in the number of professionals, mental health studies need to be given more importance in our medical colleges.

​Neerja Birla believes that basic training in mental healthcare hygiene and prevention is essential.​
Neerja Birla believes that basic training in mental healthcare hygiene and prevention is essential.

"Online courses can also help increase the reach, substantially. Rural India has almost no mental healthcare facilities or trained personnel available. Besides increasing infrastructure, people from communities can be trained in basic mental healthcare hygiene and prevention. Programmes like Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) can be actively promoted. Allocating resources for training school teachers to be the first point of contact will promote early intervention vis-à-vis mental health issues, and also sensitise them in engaging effectively with students in distress. If we can have a Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan to promote cleanliness, why can’t we have a nationwide campaign to promote mental health and well-being?"

Savitha Kuttan, CEO, Omnicuris
"As an entrepreneur, I expect the Narendra Modi government's Union Budget to once again lay emphasis on the achievement of women in various fields. As women constitute just 14 per cent of the national entrepreneurial force, there should be a committee to ensure gender equality, boost confidence on the part of investors, promote a safer social environment, and ease work-life balance.

​Savitha Kuttan says that easy loan schemes will enable women entrepreneurs to follow their dreams.
Savitha Kuttan says that easy loan schemes will enable women entrepreneurs to follow their dreams.

"The Government should continue encouraging more women entrepreneurs to come forward and spread their wings. There should be a committee to evaluate and suggest measures to improve women's welfare as this would benefit and empower them. There should be easy loan schemes which will help encourage more women entrepreneurs to follow their dreams. It is essential to understand that empowering women entails equipping them to be completely independent - financially, physically and mentally. The Government should step up measures to improve women's safety, starting with round-the-clock helplines, crisis centers, fast track courts and programs to educate them on their rights. Legal authorities must be welcoming towards women so that criminal acts do not go unreported."

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