Ratnaboli Ray is the founder and director of Anjali, an organisation working to ensure that good mental health services are available in India. Anjali works to establish mental illness within the mainstream health paradigm in the country and to speak out on behalf of marginalised people with mental illness regarding their right to professional and inclusive care.
This year, Ratnaboli Ray is one of six recipients of the prestigious Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism from Human Rights Watch. “The Alison Des Forges Award honours people who work courageously and selflessly to defend human rights, often in dangerous situations and at great personal sacrifice,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “The honourees have dedicated their lives to defending the world’s most oppressed and vulnerable people.”
Ratnaboli Ray has been exposed to and interested in the rights of mentally ill persons since she was a child. She never got to meet her two aunts who suffered from schizophrenia and says “it was impossible for me to forget [them]. Their imagined voices resonated in my mind, stimulating me to pursue a degree in psychology and take up a career in caring for people with psychosocial disability.” Ray has been a pioneer in the field of rehabilitation and reintegration of people with psychosocial disabilities, working tirelessly to affect systemic chance.
Ratnaboli will travel to Canada later in the year to accept the prize. Congratulations from everyone at Oak!