What Are We?

People often ask us whether we are an NGO or a commercial organization. They bluntly question whether we have a vested interest in doing “free” counselling. They want to know if we are propagating a religion or a cult, or are we clandestinely funded by some rich foreigners with shady motives. The answer to all the above is a vehement “No”.

What we are cannot be defined in conventional sense. Yes, we do provide free counselling. We never turn anyone away. We get perhaps 10-30 people walking in every day, half as many phone calls, and more than 50-80 emails per week. We attend to all of them to the best of our ability.

We organize two free lectures on all aspects of human behaviour every month. We encourage our students to take up independently any “business” offers that come to us. We give guidance and hand-holding to anyone who wishes to work in the field of improving or enriching quality of life.

We invite, nurture and encourage hundreds of volunteers to serve in different ways according to their convenience and as per their area of interest. We offer our retreat Manthan at cost price to anyone working for a cause. We lend our training hall to anyone who wishes to have a meaningful gathering, lecture or workshop.

More than anything else, we welcome anyone who walks in, if possible offer a cup of tea, definitely offer our emotional support or friendship..... and we allow them to walk away into their own world to seek their own path. A few of them do send us their thanks.

Can someone tell us what or who we are?

We grow human beings

If you see a plant nursery, you will only see tiny saplings. As soon as the little plant starts growing, it is transplanted in someone else’s pot or garden, and it continues its growth there, with the new owners getting the flowers, fruits or shade.

Banjara is a human nursery. We plant the seeds of self-awareness, wider and more meaningful thinking, identifying talent and goals. We nurture the thoughts and ideas in people’s minds. Then, as the eagle does in pushing out its eaglets from its nest, we give a gentle nudge, and allow people to soar in the wide blue skies – choosing which direction to fly towards, and at the speed each individual decides.

We counsel people pro bono for emotional and developmental issues. We guide students for careers by professional aptitude testing. We also play with the little ones and assess them for psycho-academic needs. We train people from all walks of life and all ages to become effective counsellors. We spread out in 10 different hospitals and help and support patients and care-givers.

We take joy in seeing each unique individual flying out of our little nest, and we provide warmth for the next egg to hatch.

Banjaras are nomads. They have traditionally roamed through countryside, living a simple life, gathering no wealth, bonding strongly within their ‘tanda’ or tribes, and providing their services to villagers wherever they camped.

Banjara Academy consists of Banjaras who wish to serve others in the form of Enriching Life Through Empowerment.

We provide free counselling, and we also want many others to carry forward our mission, so we train people from all walks of life to become counsellors. We have part-time classroom courses and online programs. We nurture individuals of any age, of any qualifications (and we never, ever hold ‘final exams’). If you wish to become part of Banjara family in any way, read our books, avail our counselling for yourself or for others, and what would make us most happy – become a counsellor yourself. It is not very difficult, ask us.

We believe in the mission

“Enriching Life Through Empowerment”

We not only provide free counselling to anyone who walks in, phones us, or writes to us, but also extend our services to eleven public hospitals where patients and care givers need emotional support.

We provide free counselling, and we also want many others to carry forward our mission, so we train people from all walks of life to become counsellors. We have part-time classroom courses and online programs. We nurture individuals of any age, of any qualifications (and we never, ever hold ‘final exams’). If you wish to become part of Banjara family in any way, read our books, avail our counselling for yourself or for others, and what would make us most happy – become a counsellor yourself. It is not very difficult, ask us.

We believe that anyone can be trained in the vital fields of psychological counselling, life skills training and career guidance. Hence we have constantly been endeavouring to train as many people as possible, so that the ripple effect reaches out to as many people as possible. We have very convenient face-to-face part-time programs suiting people of all backgrounds and ages, and for those who cannot come and attend, we also have online programs.

The Joys of Volunteering !

It is said that if you feel pulled down, exhausted, or that life is not treating you fairly, the best thing to do is to reach out to someone who is worse off than you.

Our ‘Helping Hand’ volunteers are witness to this therapy since the past thirty years. If you wish to experience it for yourself, spend a couple of hours every week in a hospital giving emotional support to patients or their care-givers. You will feel so much better, and your life will become more meaningful. Contact us on 80-23535766 or 23535787, or talk to our coordinator Ms. Purnima on 9341972540, or just mail us, and avail an opportunity to give a better direction and deeper meaning to your life.

Find Reasons to Celebrate

As we age, a year looks shorter and shorter. When you have spent many decades in this world, the end of one calendar year and the beginning of another one becomes a minor ritual of holiday, party, shopping, and …..back to routine.

Sometimes we even become pessimistic about how life is going and whether we are getting a fair deal. Without doing so consciously we may start focusing only on the negative, and pull ourselves down further.

Some of us do make New Year resolutions that we will make our life better – but most such resolutions do not last beyond a few days or weeks.

I have a suggestion. The way you make a balance sheet at the end of the financial year, and based on the balance sheet you make a budget and financial plan for the next year, I propose to you an audit of where you stand at the end of 2018. If you answer the questions truthfully and ponder over them for an extended period of time, you will realize that you actually have very strong reasons to welcome the New Year warmly. This is the questionnaire…..

When you close the year 2018 and welcome the new year 2019, ask yourself these questions:

Are you……

  1. Serious or life-threatening illness

  2. Bankrupt or in heavy debt

  3. Failed or dropped out?

  4. Any major fight with close person

  5. Court cases, convicted for crime

  6. Clinical depression, schizophrenia

  7. Addiction to alcohol or drugs

  8. Cannot walk, see, hear

  9. Displaced from home, being oppressed

  10. Questioning your existence

If you have answered “No” to almost all the above ten questions, then it means that you are….

  1. Healthy

  2. Financially comfortable

  3. Educated

  4. Have good personal relationships

  5. A free citizen

  6. Have good mental health

  7. A person with full control of life

  8. Physically fit

  9. A proud Indian

  10. A person with a meaning in life ! So……

Celebrate the New Year, celebrate 2019 and celebrate Life !

We love children !

The more we care for them, the better will our life be when they take over the world. While we believe in overall development, building life skills and values in the young, we do understand that academics and grades do play a significant role in their progress. To help students through the challenging time of exams, we will be available for free counselling on all weekdays in the coming months. We also offer the following:

Short, crisp and practically useful video clips on all aspects of facing exams and studying well, which are categorized into:

  • Where to study

  • When to study

  • What to study

  • How to study

  • Why study

We are not Tailors.

We do not alter either ladies or gents. But we do endeavour to help them to alter themselves. We believe in the individuality, the talent and the creativity of every human being.

Through counselling, mentoring, training and nurturing, we help people, from children to senior citizens, to find better meaning and purpose to their life

We provide free counselling, we train people from all walks to life to understand human behaviour, to help others and help themselves in the process.

Every Life is Valuable, and every human has potential. At Banjara we do not differentiate, we do not judge – we look for the good, for the hidden potential. We provide free counselling and emotional support. We do not tell others how to run their life, we believe in our mission “Enriching Life Through Empowerment”, and we welcome everyone to join us on this road less travelled – in whatever way you would like to walk with us.

If you too wish to become a Counsellor, do get in touch with us

Great thinkers and those who sought greater meaning in life always walked on the Road Less Travelled. At Banjara, we are always looking beyond the beaten path. We believe in each human being’s potential, and we believe in Enriching Life through Empowerment.

We do not propagate any theories or cults, we do not consider ourselves wiser than you. We learn and change at every step. And if we find that there is no path going towards the beautiful sunrise, we create one ….. and we invite you to walk – not led by us, not to lead us, but to walk hand in hand with us, doing our little bit to create a better tomorrow for everyone.

(Photo shows a cosy path through verdant greenery in our retreat Manthan, the Churning of Minds)

Our doors are open to those who wish to learn more about life, seek support or give support. If you wish to walk on a path less trodden, just click on this.

Everyone needs a helping hand some time or the other. That is why our service wing, ‘Helping Hand’ reaches out unconditionally to anyone who needs emotional support or counselling, free of charge. We work through our two centres where anyone can walk in, and we do utmost to put a smile on their faces. We also have volunteers on the help-desks of 10 major hospitals of the city.

We invite people from all backgrounds who wish to get trained as counsellors or life skills trainers, to gain practical and professional expertise through part-time courses. We offer dozens of simple practical and economical books on all aspects of human behaviour. We have a quaint little ‘Gurukul’ for children who need help in getting back to routine or overcoming special needs. We assess students and others for career guidance through Aptitude Testing.

We don’t work from 9:30 to 5:30, we just walk in to welcome you, to exchange experiences of life, and to convert challenges into opportunities.

We Enrich Life through Empowerment

In an increasingly digital world,

If you wish to enrich your life, need counselling, wish to get yourself trained practically to become a counsellor or life skills trainer, read our very practical books, get your child assessed, become a part of a family of hundreds of volunteers, or just spend some time away from the stresses of life, do get in touch.

Look deeper into your life !

Whether you have been happy and contented so far, or whether you have been through many ups and downs in life, the best thing to do now is to reach out to someone who is worse off than you. Experience the joy of giving of yourself – something that is inexhaustible. Stop for a moment and think how nice it is to bring a smile on a tearful face, to share a light moment with someone who is pulled down.

If you have 2 or 3 hours to spare in a week, please join us to become a volunteer (no long-term commitment required). Meet other people who look beyond mundane and routine life and get a deeper insight into your own life. We welcome people of all backgrounds and ages. Contact us on 80-23330200 or 23535787 from 9:30 to 5:30 any time, or just mail us, and avail an opportunity to give a better direction and deeper meaning to your life.