Initially, CMH started out as an application of professional knowledge in social work, with emphasis given mainly for the weaker sections of the society, their upliftment and to bring forth the dignity and plight so that the gifted lot (mentally, orthopaedically, visually and auditory handicapped people), people suffering from Mental illness, drug addiction to destitute women and children may mingle freely without any prejudices and discrimination in the mainstream society. Keeping the afrosaid statements as a goal. Centre, for Mental Hygiene was established on 22nd Oct. 1978 with the kind support and blessings from the then educationist, doctors, social workers and other well wishers, whose contribution being tremendous as can be seen today in concrete form metaphorically.
C.M.H. was registered on the 4th of January 1979 under the societies registration act of 1860 the register of society, Govt. of Manipur. The registration no. being 2674.
To do away with the misconceptions metted to the gifted lot, a need was felt to render awareness campaigns and programmes to the general public, CMH launched Public Educational Programme (PEP) immediately after its inception targetting the School and College Students, members of local youth clubs, Mahila Mandals etc.
As a response to the needs of the public the CMH brought out its quarterly journal in English and Manipuri entitled Mental Hygiene Journal in 1980. The journal gained more public appreciations and there also came a very specific suggestion as to why the CMH does not start an institution or school for Mentally handicapped children. Responding to the suggestion, the institution namely CHUNGKHAM IBOHAL INSTITUTE was set up on 2nd Feb. 1981 at a rented building at Sagolband Thingom Leikai with the objectives of giving training in free vocational trades and education in basic functional activities and ultimately rehabilitation. The institution started with only 2 mentally handicapped children, and gradualy increased.
In addition, CMH also offered counselling services to persons suffering from psychological problems.
- As a token of recognition of the various services vendered by the CMH, the Dept. of Social Welfare Govt. of Manipur, started giving financial assistance since 1981 onwards for the maintenance of the centre.
Different other agencies namely Terre Des Hommes Germany, India Programme also extended financial help to enable staff training in Bombay for teaching mentally handicapped persons in 1981 The CMH also sent two staff initially who had undergone training sucessfully, and on completion after completion, rejoined the Institution.
In due course of time the OXFAM (India Trust, Calcutta) having its Head Office in Oxford, United Kingdom, had started extending financial assistance for the construction of building in a piece of land donated by Shri Ch. Rajendra, son of Chungkham Ibohal whom the institute was named after. The construction was completed in October 1985.OXFAM also donated an autorikshaw and a mini bus for transportation and some financial support for expansion of school building.
As a rcognition from the Govt. of India in 1984 the Ministry of welfare had started extending financial help for staff salaries, purchase of books and clothing, for handicapped children.
In providing more benefit to larger number of handicapped children, the centre approached UNICEF, Eastern India Office for Community Based Rehabilitation Service (CBRS) in 1985, approval for the project was given and launched in 1986. The project envisaged to deal with 4 main areas viz,
1. Early intervention of mentally handicapped children.
2. Low cost Intervention programme for giving primary care, function education and pre-vocational training.
3. Public Education Programme for creating awareness in general public.
4. Rehabilitation of the general public.
The inauguration of the building was done by the then Governor of Manipur, His excellency Shri SHM Burney, and made a remarkable statement that, instead of opening more schools and colleges of normal children, estalishment of institutions for the handicapped be done, as there were hardly any institution for providing education, training and rehabilitation of the handicapped persons.
In the inaugural function, the former Health Minister Shri Radhabinod Koijam, was also present, along with the then educationists, social workers and docters etc.
The centre also received financial assistance from the Ministry of Welfare, Government of India for the construction of the school cum hostel building.
Further the Industrial Development Bank assisted the centre some financial support for special project entitled 'Sheltered Workshop' for the handicapped for giving training in embroidery, wool knitting, weaving, cane and bamboo etc. to make earning for the livelihood of the handicapped persons.
The CMH also introduced hostel facility with a capacity of 50 children who are from distant places considering the services they are to be provided with, such as self-help activities like cleaning, cooking, toilet training and physical activities.
The Centre for Mental Hygiene as one of the social agencies has taken up the task of opening a centre for counselling and Rehabilitation of Drug Addicts at its office complex at Sangaiprou, Airport Road Imphal namely 'New Life' Counselling Cum Rehabilitation Centre' to fight the rampant substance abuse.
The problem of drug addiction became extremely alarming then, majority of the victims being school and college youths affecting their student life and becoming a social menace.
Geographically Manipur happens to lie in a high risk region nearing the Golden Triangle where cultivation of Poppy plants is carried out and producing heroine. Bordering Myanmar (Burma) illicit trafficking was on rise. The need of a de-addiction /rehabilitation centre was felt as a large number of productive youths have been affected not only physically but also mentally, and the consequence was leading to a downfall in the development of the society and nation at large. In order to control the problems of drug abuse, the 'New Life' centre had taken up many commendable works in the form of drug awareness programme, conferences, seminars, short term camps and training of volunters who were interested in delivering helping services to dsubstance abusers.
Due to the magnitude of the problem, very less impact could be felt and the problem kept on multiplying. Therefore it became imperative on the part of the organisation that long term programmes for the rehabilitation of drug addicts be taken up without any delay in order to help some of the addicts enable leading normal lives. Hence New Life was born.
New Life Counselling-cum-rehabilitation centre took up the following programmes initially :-
1. Individual/group and family counselling.
2. Physical excercise, martial arts and yoga.
4. Games and Sports (Indoor and Outdoor)/Music.
5. Literary activities.
6. Talent development.
7. Vocational training
8. Gardening etc.
The Seminars, Conferences and Training Programmes were collaborated with.
- National Institute of Social Defence, Govt. of India.
- National Institute of Public Co-operation and Child Development, Govt. of India.
- Tere-des-Homes, Germany, India Programme etc.
The centre also took up training programmes like tailoring and carpentry.
The Centre For Mental Hygiene was alloted (FCRA) Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. 1976 in terms of Section 6(I) FCRA no. 194130018. On the 23rd March 1985 by Ministry of Home Affairs.