The Banyan

Project Brief: The Banyan strives to rehabilitate mentally ill destitute women and reunite them with their families.Asha austin will be invoved in the support and bring up of the vocational training/occupational therapy units.
Project Type: Special Needs (description)
Primary Focus: other (description)

Secondary Focus: vocational training

Area: Urban
Supporting Chapter Contact: Austin
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Preethi Narayanan
Project Partner(s): Vaishnavi Jayakumar
Other Contacts: Charanya Ravikumar
Project Address: , 6th Main Road,Mogapair ERI Scheme,Chennai,
TAMIL NADU  600037
Tel: 0091-44-26530504
Stewarding Chapter: Austin
Jun 2006AustinUSD 4283
Jun 2005AustinUSD 1400

Total = $5683

The Banyan is currently caring for over 360 destitute women, all suffering from some sort of psychiatric ailment. Over the last decade, it has developed a model of care, treatment and psycho-social rehabilitation that not merely tackles the immediate problem of providing shelter and medical care to these women, but also contributes to their restoration to a normal social and family environment and instills in them courage and hope to lead productive lives. The care and rehabilitation model has been carefully structured in such a way that medical treatment for mental illness is supplemented by vocational and recreational therapy. A significant feature of this model is the imparting of vocational and occupational skills to these destitute women with a view to preparing them for a contributive role in their family and the community at large after they are reunited with their families.

As a result of this informally structured care, the women soon regain their health and strength, and are increasingly involved in occupational activities as well as in the daily chores of The Banyan. Once set on the path of recovery, most women begin to recall their families and want to be reunited with them. Effecting such reunions is an area in which the institution has had considerable success.
The banyan was started in August 1993 by Vaishnavi and vandana to care for mentally ill destitute women. What started out as a single room with a few residents has now grown to a home to care for more than 400 residents. The aims of the banyan are:

a. To identify and provide shelter, care and psychiatric and medical services to mentally ill destitute women
b. To provide innovative clinical treatment and therapy.
c. To aim at self-sufficiency and deinstitutionalisation through a rehabilitation / restoration programme.
d. To enhance public awareness and gather public support for the care of mentally ill destitute women.
e. To help bring about positive changes in Government policy and planning with relation to mentally ill.