Spreading its roots
Battered, abused and abandoned—this is the fate that the homeless mentally ill meet at the hands of an uncaring society.
But there is an organization that aims to change this fate. Just like a banyan tree provides shelter to all under its boughs, The Banyan in Chennai provides love, support and care to the mentally ill. The Banyan story started in 1993 when Vandana Gopikumar and her friend Vaishnavi Jaikumar helped a mentally ill person on the street. This is when they realized the state of mental health care in India.
What started more than 20 years ago today houses over 200 women with mental illnesses and provides them with professional psychiatric care and occupational therapy. Over the years, more than 2,500 women have been treated by the organization and many have been reunited with their families.
The Banyan’s ultimate aim is to help the mentally ill reclaim their life in society and confidently say, “Yes, I have my own identity!”
To contact The Banyan, click here