Starting A New Business? 7 Key Points To Keep In Mind.
Vandana Gopikumar & Vaishnavi Jayakumar are the women behind The Banyan, an organization which rescues and rehabilitates homeless women with mental illnesses.
Witnessing the tragic plight of a distraught, semi-clad and mentally-ill woman in Chennai, Vandana and Vaishnavi were moved enough to set up The Banyan, back in 1993. With limited funds and no previous experience of running a home for the mentally challenged, it was a daunting task indeed for the young women, who were just 22 years old at that time.
But today, The Banyan is a registered Trust offering comfort, solace and support for numerous destitute women – and men.
The duo strongly believes that timely treatment for the mentally-ill is essential to reintegrate them with society. With every passing year, The Banyan continues to work towards its vision of changing attitudes and building an inclusive society that accepts the mentally ill and treats them with dignity and compassion.
Why we find them inspiring:
– For their social awareness and empathy at a young age
– For their initiative and determination to help women in strife
– For reaching out to helpless women who are often shunned by society
*Photo source: The Hindu.
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There are many mountains I need to climb just to be, just to live my life, just to have my say... because they are mountains you've built to oppress women.
Trigger Warning: This deals with various kinds of violence against women including rape, and may be triggering for survivors.
I haven’t climbed a literal mountain yet
Was busy with the metaphorical ones – born a woman
Fighting for the air that should have come free
And I am one of the privileged ones, I realize that
Yet, if I get passionate, just like you do
I will pay for it – with burden, shame, – and possibly a life to carry
So, my mountains are the laws you overturn
My mountains are the empty shelves where there should have been pills
When people picked my dadi to place her on the floor, the sheet on why she lay tore. The caretaker came to me and said, ‘Just because you touched her, one of the men carrying her lost his balance.’
The death of my grandmother shattered me. We shared a special bond – she made me feel like I was the best in the world, perfect in every respect.
Apart from losing a person who I loved, her death was also a rude awakening for me about the discrimination women face when it comes to performing the last rites of their loved ones.
On January 23 this year, I lost my 95 year old grandmother (dadi) Nirmala Devi to cardiac arrest. She was that one person who unabashedly praised me. The evening before her death she praised the tea I had made and said that I make better tea than my brother (my brother and I are always competing about who makes the best chai).
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