March 5, 2012

The Banyan

                          It was almost around 16-17 years back when I first saw a program on The Banyan in Doordarshan. I don't know what you call an 18 year old. A adult..or a being that is somewhere in between. That was what I was at that time. On seeing this documentary after dinner, I was totally moved by what two young women who were just a few years older to me were trying to do. Out of passion and emotion, I noted down their address and phone numbers on a piece of paper. When I look back, I wasn't even aware of why I noted them down. I knew there is something I have to do about it, but not sure what is.
                      Though I never used them for anything or helped them in any way until I am financially independent, The Banyan and the two girls Vandana Gopikumar and Vaishnavi Jayakumar were the ones who rooted the seeds of social responsibility in my consciousness.

Birth of Banyan:
                 Vandana, a college student came across a mentally ill homeless woman in front of her college. With the help of her close friend Vaishnavi, tried to find a home for the woman. No institution or organization was ready to admit them. They encountered many such incidents over the next few months and decided to do something about it. That’s when the shape of The Banyan formed in 1993. The house they rented outnumbered the capacity it could hold and The Banyan had to have a building of their own. The Banyan's dream comes true on April 15, 2002.

What they do:
·         Rescue mentally ill and destitute woman. Shelter them, nurse them, train them, rehabilitate and make them like one of us.
·         Unite them with their families. Those who cannot, The Banyan is their future. It gives them life.
·         Encourage the mentally ill and provide their caregivers with professional help by making the process easy and accessible.
·         Assist the whole family
·         Understand & Create awareness
What they did:
                 They have changed the lives of more than 5,000 people through their various projects. Each year, they touch the lives of around 3,000 mentally ill people. These are just mere numbers. Their deeds are innumerable. Visit
What you can Do:
·         Donate - Does not have to be cash. Clothes, bedsheets, night gowns, monthly supplies etc.
·         Volunteer
·         Visit
·         Advocate
The © of all the above information belongs to
Traditions, cultures, histories have labeled Women as the weaker sex. If an ordinary woman belongs to the weaker sex, what happens to the mentally ill, destitute, homeless and helpless women? Who’s going to rescue them? What happens to them?Everyone is not a hero. But every deed you do could be heroic. It could rescue someone, give them their life back.  Every contribution you do, every minute you spend could make a huge difference in their lives. You don’t have to sacrifice your lives, just think what little you can do for them.
                                           A Little Act Makes A Huge Impact!!


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