A Note from The Banyan’s New Director….

Dr. Kishore interacting with The Banyan staff at Kovalam

“Very rarely can founders be confident of a movement they have fostered being led with equal dynamism, passion and commitment. In Dr. Kishore Kumar, we have found that and more! We can rest knowing that our baby is in safe, kind and competent hands.” – Vandana Gopikumar and Vaishnavi Jayakumar, Founders of The Banyan

The Banyan is indeed very fortunate to have Dr. K.V. Kishore Kumar on board as its new Director.  Here’s a note from Dr. Kishore ….

“I joined the Banyan as its Director on the 1st of july  2013. I have been in touch with The Banyan and its work for the last two decades. I gained insights into The Banyan’s work while I undertook the evaluation in the year 2000. The admiration I have for the organisation and the professionals who work in this organisation has been immense.   The Banyan has been filing an important gap in the system of mental health care in our country. The founders of the organisation proactively looked at the needs of people with severe mental health problems who are homeless by responding to a crisis on the streets of Chennai.

From the day they responded to that crisis till today, the organisation has been continuously working on rescue, facilitation of recovery from physical and mental health problems, initiation of rehabilitation to ensure that the individual is empowered to become self reliant and reestablish her roots with the family or live on her own if the family does not exist, and lastly, reintegrating the individual with her family. Anyone who has read about this work or seen this work from close quarters is bound to be attracted to admire the toughest of mental health care work that they are engaged for the last two decades. No wonder that The Banyan has volunteers from all walks of life wanting to participate in all the endeavours  from contributing voluntary time to support various activities, advocate for better facilities for people with mental health problems both at the level of the Government and at the community level. This kind of an engagement has resulted in mobilization of resources from the corporate, general public and the public health system.

Dr. Kishore speaking to visitors.

Like the volunteers, I have had a deep sense of respect and admiration to the work The Banyan has been involved in.  While I cherished the dream of becoming part of The Banyan for a long time, it became a reality in 2013.  I am indeed proud to be associated with an organisation involved in such an important work of responding to complex needs of the most marginalised sections of our society. Heading such an organisation, personally, is a sense of pride and honor for me. I deeply value the trust and friendship The Banyan management committee has bestowed on me.

Dr. Kishore with a few staff and clients at Adaikalam, The Banyan’s Transit Care Centre

I hope to  take the movement forward with the same kind of sensitivities the founders and the management committee has invested in this area of work. We as a team will work towards strengthening mental health services for the homeless, advocate for higher investment in mental health, increase engagement in primary care settings, empower families, network with similar agencies all over the country, setup resource centres to respond to the needs of the homeless and the marginalized and last but not least carry out high quality research to widen the base of evidence facilitated practice in the area of homelessness and mental illness.

Thank you!”

– Dr. K.V. Kishore Kumar, Director, The Banyan and BALM

If you would like to contribute in any way to The Banyan’s mission, please click on the links below:

Click here to DONATE!

Contact Swapna for more info: +91-9840135913. swapna.k@thebanyan.org

Click here to VOLUNTEER!

Contact Fanny for more info: +91-9884008643. volunteers@thebanyan.org

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