Team Banyan’s running at the Mumbai Marathon!

In a few days now, (ulp!) I’ll be among close to 40,000 people running for charity as part of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. And from the Chennai part of it at least, I won’t be alone. The team, consisting staff, residents and friends like Khushboo, Rohini, Revathy, Vivek Oberoi (you may have seen the hoardings) are all running to raise funds.

Our cause? The Banyan, an organisation I chose to work for because I realised that sometimes, my own hold on sanity seemed tenuous at best, and with one in four individuals likely to suffer from some form of mental illness in their lifetime, who’s to say that that wouldn’t be me? That it wouldn’t be me wandering on the streets, homeless and destitute not because I’d be unloved but merely because wandering is just another symptom.

The Banyan is home to 360 such women, most of them from the poorest of families across India. Through its rural and urban outreach operations it reaches out to more than 1000 people every month. People who may just need some treatment to return to being productive, people who just need some support to get back on their feet, people who just needed some answers and someone to talk to before shouldering their way through yet another day.

The Banyan needs me. And you. Our time, effort, support, sensitivity and yes, of course the money. Which brings us back to the marathon.

Team Banyan is running to raise enough funds to meet at least some part of our monthly deficit of Rs. 13 lakh. Support me, support The Banyan by pledging on me online at or sending us cash/cheque in the name of “The Banyan”, The Banyan Centre, 30/109, Halls Road, Kilpauk, Chennai – 10. Or call 044-43532324.

11 Comments so far

  1. tsk tsk (unregistered) on January 16th, 2008 @ 4:24 pm


    Great to see your spirit. Awesome. Pardon my critisicm but i had my 2 bits to share. From a chennai metblogs point of view – i can recall that youve put up 4-5 blogs so far mostly on mumbai marathon, the banyan (which i agree is a honorable organization) and waffles.

    Now strictly speaking, you are constantly blogging about the these topics and Loosely tieing them to chennai. This particular blog being the best example of a very weak link. Please take greater effort to ensure that your blogs are more relvant to be in a ‘Chennai’ metblog.

    Quite frankly, you will be able to raise better donations and goodwill when you have made a better impact on the forum

  2. Lakshmi Narayanan B (unregistered) on January 16th, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

    Unrelated to the post:
    Can any of you tell me any good library in chennai to become a member? I have registered for British council library. Any other good ones?

  3. Ranjitha (unregistered) on January 16th, 2008 @ 4:56 pm

    Tsk Tsk… I have written on Kovalam, hunt for waffles which were also city-based restaurant reviews, review of a dessert place (all three related to Chennai so far?)
    A new year food/clothes distribution thingy – not cos it was on The Banyan but cos it is a)something that happens in Chennai, b)something that people can and (evidently) do replicate across the city and wherever else.
    The Marathon thing, was posted on Nandhu’s suggestion, cos it’s a Chennai-based group participating in Asia’s largest marathon.

    I’m sorry that my posts don’t hold your interest from a city angle. Above is my rationale. Will try working towards your standards henceforth. Cheers, Ranjitha.

    Lakshmi…Eloor is good I believe. It’s near the Gangotree on the street in T Nagar near Residency Towers.

  4. Parthasarathy (unregistered) on January 16th, 2008 @ 5:07 pm

    Yet another feminist, money-spinning project.

    People = 360 women?! And why is so expensive (Rs. 13 lakhs a month!), to look after them?

    What have ‘charitable’ institutions done to take away our trust in them? And why is our society so short of genuine compassion for the poor, the sick, the uneducated and so on, IRRESPECTIVE of gender, age, religion, nationality or language?

    Mother Therasa must be turning in her grave.

  5. nandhu (unregistered) on January 16th, 2008 @ 5:14 pm

    tsk tsk,

    as a long time reader of metblogs, u must be well aware that all those topics are well connected to chennai.

    Park Sheraton and Ecstasy are both in chennai. ranjitha just wrote them with a personal touch, which is perhaps what blogging is about in the first place.

    also, banyan is a chennai-based organisation. ranjitha is a chennai-based activist. i dont see why the connections are loose?

    Ranjitha works are Banyan and knows the organisation well. the post is for a cause and is made as a appeal to our readers.

    we do try and keep the posts related to chennai. but i dont intent to stick to a narrow definition of that.

    hope u are able to see our side to this as well. thanks and keep reading.

  6. Lakshmi Narayanan B (unregistered) on January 16th, 2008 @ 5:41 pm

    Thanks for your recommendation. Checked out Eloor’s site. Its good.

  7. Ela (unregistered) on January 16th, 2008 @ 7:40 pm

    Parthasarathy….i agree with ur statement that compassion should be shown for “for the poor, the sick, the uneducated and so on, IRRESPECTIVE of gender, age, religion, nationality or language” but u should understand that such a huge and broad task, in order to be efficiently executed has to be compartmentalised and specialised….

    It is just like the specialisations in education…just as an simple and may be not so clever example….

    And as i have said earlier…it is easy to be critical (which is really necessary in order to keep things accountable)and acrid with others but to do something charitable no matter how small and insignificant it may be seem is worth a lot… present day’s world where most of the people’s life is just run by mere selfishness…..every single and small act of kindness counts and matters…..

    So atleast one small contribution u can make is just refraining from making such negative fruitless comments….becoz sometimes u seem to lack the grace to make the negative comments in an constructive manner.

  8. Parthasarathy (unregistered) on January 16th, 2008 @ 9:16 pm

    Ela, “So atleast one small contribution u can make is just refraining from making such negative fruitless comments..”

    Sorry to dissappoint, but I will continue to speak my mind.

  9. Anu (unregistered) on January 17th, 2008 @ 1:02 am

    Yes the Banyan is a feminist, money-spinning organisation. I see nothing wrong with that so I guess I’m a minority on this blog. Like Ranjitha said all organizations have to choose to focus on one segment of society. As the plight of mentally disabled women in this society is especially bad, it makes absolute sense for an organization to concentrate on them. If you want charities devoted to other groups of people, you are free to start them and write about them on Chennai Metblogs.
    Finally I am tired of everyone using Mother Theresa as an example of a do-gooder. She was notoriously unsympathetic to the plight of the poor, and often refused treatment to poor people who refused to abide by her strictly Catholic notions of what was good and bad. For more information please read this Christopher Hitchens piece about Mother Theresa:

  10. sportslover (unregistered) on January 17th, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

    i don’t know whether,Banyan is a feminist, money-spinning organisation. However why can’t we have good articles about who our state champions are from tamilnadu or especially from chenai representing us in the national games in various disciplines. Maybe you can focus on one discipline first and then the others later. Its a pity a nation like ours is always 2 nd and soon the first in the population and not even getting 2 or three medals in the olympics. Why can’t we do something about it and encourage the sports people from chenai or from our T.nadu????? Marathon is good for charity how abt medals for pride and GLORY!

  11. Parthasarathy (unregistered) on January 24th, 2008 @ 11:26 am

    Banyan is Feminist because it is from females, by females and for females. No ones wants charity for males here!

    Reminds one of the feimnist Breast Cancer movement in the UK, which gets huge funding by the government, but which does nothing for males dying of prostrate cancer who have no voice. Death rates are comparable though – some 13,000 to 10,000 per year, if my memory is right.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.