- May 22, 2024

IDA mourns the loss of Dr. Bhargavi Davar, executive director of TCI Global, who passed away on the 22nd of May 2024.

Bhargavi founded the Bapu Trust for Research on Mind and Discourse, named after her mother, who had experienced violence and discrimination, including institutionalization, as a person with psychosocial disabilities. Bhargavi combined her academic prowess with empathetic service delivery, establishing an organization that focused on providing rights based mental health services and peer-support within the community.

She worked with the global disability movement, particularly the movement of users and survivors of psychiatry. Bhargavi was one of the first CRPD trainers in India, bringing her knowledge to a new generation of cross disability advocates through the IDA Training of Trainers, Advocates and Leaders (ToTAL). She was also a leader of the cross-disability movement in India, including around advocacy for CRPD compliant disability legislation in India and the drafting of the first parallel report to the CRPD Committee.

In 2012, she began work on establishing a movement to transform communities into ones that allowed all persons with disabilities to thrive. What began as the “TransAsia Alliance on Transforming Communities for Inclusion of Persons with Psycho-social Disabilities”, Transforming Communities for Inclusion (TCI), a global OPD, is her legacy, an organization that brought new perspectives into the global movement of persons with psychosocial disabilities, while also being deeply rooted in cross disability solidarity. Bhargavi’s efforts in decolonizing the mental health space, be it in service delivery or advocacy, have led to changes in several countries where TCI members thrive.

IDA has been proud to have partnered with Bhargavi, as well as having had the opportunity to support TCI. We will also fondly remember Bhargavi as being one of the initial champions and trainers of the Bridge CRPD-SDGs Training Initiative, having mentored many participants and facilitators. Advocacy for the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities, including accelerating deinstitutionalization and ensuring community inclusion for all, is a crucial part of IDA’s work. We will honour Bhargavi’s important legacy by continuing our advocacy in the spirit of tireless and fearless activism which she embodied.