There are many social entrepreneurs in India, and probably many I do not know. However, I had the chance to meet a few of them and I just like to share with you some amazing moments .
The first is Vandana Gopikumar. She runs The Banyan at the south of Chennai. When she was still a student many years ago, she observed mentally ill women and men living on the streets and with some friends she started to take care of them. First in their own houses and flats, later she started her institutions.
Today, she has become a real change maker. In several institutions she helps mentally ill women to have a better life. She does not only care, but enables them to get back to a normal life – as far as possible. In one of her institutions where these women live, she runs also professional courses with students and collaborates with universities.
When I met her she was about opening a cafeteria for the students, which will be managed by the women. I will never forget to see the women who live there presented ‘their’ cafeteria. There was a perspective, a challenge in their lives – and they felt needed.
I was impressed to see how she thinks about ‘re-integration’. She simply goes beyond – in every thing she does. If you want to know more, have a look at www.thebanyan.org