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“Being authentic and true to oneself, above all, is what makes a person or experience beautiful to me,” says Dr. Vandana Gopikumar, the Co-founder of The Banyan, a pioneering organisation in the field of mental health in India that turns 25 this year. In Kanakavalli’s August Vignettes, Vandana traces the roots of her passion to make a difference, the early years of struggling against stereotype and the person-centred approach that makes The Banyan truly special. The Banyan is a people’s movement, one born out of the belief that we can sometimes choose our family, and that in celebrating difference and diversity there is great joy.
Taking time out of a schedule of engaging in clinical work with clients at The Banyan and teaching at The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health and at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences where she is a professor, Vandana curates a range of beautiful kanjivarams that embody her passion and personality. View the curation here, and read the conversation on our blog.