Dedicated to improving mental healthcare | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 05, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:58 AM, March 05, 2021


Dedicated to improving mental healthcare

Established in 2017, The Johnson & Johnson One Young World (JJOYW) Scholarship Program recognises young leaders who are striving to leave behind an extraordinary impact in healthcare. Awsaf Karim, Founder of Oroddho Health, received this prestigious scholarship. The programme is set to begin on March 15 with a six-month accelerated training, organised by Johnson & Johnson and conducted by trainers from renowned universities. This will be followed by individual coaching from senior Johnson & Johnson leaders.

The highlight of the programme is the One Young World Summit 2021, where the scholars will get to interact with renowned personalities, including Kofi Anan, Prof Dr Mohammad Yunus, J K Rowling, Emma Watson, and Meghan Markle. It will officially end in September, with the scholars being promoted to One Young World Delegates.

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Healthcare professionals across the world are eligible to apply for the programme. The procedure begins with a nomination from One Young World, for which applicants are asked a series of questions. "If your nomination form stands out, it will be accepted and you will be called for an online interview conducted by One Young World from London. During the interview, you will be asked more questions about the work you do, and share your thoughts about the future of global healthcare, before the selection," Awsaf shared.

Being a student of Army Medical College, Chattogram, he closely saw how memorising was an integral part of our education system. "Almost none of my peers have a knack for spending time in research and innovation. This problem was even more evident during the ongoing pandemic, when our medical infrastructure is changing and innovation has become mandatory," he said.

Oroddho Health was formed after Awsaf conquered his battles with mental health issues. "I suffered from depression and anxiety. While seeking help from professional psychologists, I realised that counselling services were really expensive," he shared.

The platform provides peer support through their Facebook page. After registering as a client, the person seeking help is assigned to a dedicated member. "If any client requires professional help, we refer them to one of our partner psychologists, and arrange therapy sessions for them at low prices" Awsaf added.

Oroddho Health's Facebook group, Project Uddipok, promotes mental wellbeing of the youth. They encourage creative activities such as art and music to keep the members engaged and active during these difficult times.

Their e-book, Heal-Ink, features true stories from people who triumphed over their mental health issues. "We are planning to make the book an annual publication, with a new volume releasing annually," Awsaf added. Their future plans also include collaborating with a team of psychologists, who will provide professional services free of cost, around Bangladesh.


The author is a freelance journalist who likes reading, planning and scribbling. Write to her at


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