Keshav Desiraju
Memorial Award

The Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, ILS, Pune, in association with Thakur Family Foundation, are pleased to announce the ‘Keshav Desiraju Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service in Mental Health’

About Keshav Desiraju

Keshav Desiraju (1955–2021) former Union Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India (2013–14) was a member of the Indian Administrative Service who served in multiple positions throughout his long and illustrious career in the Union government as well as the government of Uttarakhand. He was recognized for his significant contributions to various fields within the health sector in the country by drafting path-breaking legislations, establishing technical committees and strengthening governance systems. His work focused on issues of public health, primary health care, mental health & disability.  

Mr. Desiraju’s contributions to the field of mental health stood out, where he was instrumental in advancing mental health in India. Recognizing poverty and deprivation as predictors for poor health outcomes, he understood mental health as an issue of social justice and worked to hold the state accountable. Through building the National Mental Health Policy (2014), he emphasised mental health care as a basic right for every citizen. He was the architect” and “the driving force” behind the country’s Mental Healthcare Act of 2017, widely regarded as a bold and progressive legislation.  

Through his work to build a more just, equitable and caring country, Mr. Desiraju dedicated his life to serving society, leaving behind a legacy. 

More about Keshav Desiraju

About the Award

The ‘Keshav Desiraju Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service in Mental Health’, aims to recognize the contribution and efforts of individuals in government service who embody similar values as Mr. Desiraju and through their work, are regarded as allies in making advances in the field of mental health in India.

Every year, the award will honour one individual with:

  • A memento & plaque
  • A citation by the jury
  • A cash prize of Rs. 50,000

To commemorate the birth anniversary of Mr. Desiraju, the recipient will be announced on May 11, every year.

Eligibility Criteria

  • A person who presently holds, or has held in the past, a position in the Union or State Government by appointment

Examples:
Medical Officers, Programme Coordinators, Secretary or Joint-Secretaries of Ministries and Departments, Officers on Special Duty, Deputy Director for Mental Health, etc.

  • Demonstrable work or contributions by the individual to advance the field of mental health in India

Examples:
Improved mental health indicators in state/district, introduction of new schemes/programmes for persons with mental illness, initiatives to improve implementation of the MHCA/DMHP, etc.

The Jury

Ms K. Sujatha Rao

FORMER UNION SECRETARY

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
(Government of India)

Mr Amitabha Bhattacharya

FORMER PRINCIPAL ADVISOR (EDU. & CULTURE)

Planning Commission
(Government of India)

Dr Anant Bhan

GLOBAL HEALTH RESEARCHER

Lead, Sangath
(Bhopal Hub)

How to Apply

Individuals may nominate themselves or other individuals in their network if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Last date to apply:

17th April 2022

For any queries, you may write us at:
info@cmhlp.org