The Indian Cancer Society, Karnataka branch was set up in Bangalore in the late 1980s. Kishore Rao, Dr. Nagesh Simha, Dr. Shetty & I were among the first members. While working with Cancer patients we realized that there was a need felt for counseling services for Cancer patients and their relatives. We decided to offer the services of lay, but trained counselors to these hospitals.
We spread the word around amongst our friends and to our delight several of them volunteered to help us. We started with the first round of training for the volunteers by Wg. Cdr. Murthy. We soon realized the need for this service for people with other problems as well and decided to form a separate organization to help them and “Vishwas” was born.
Vishwas has since grown from that small group of volunteers and morphed to what it is today, a success story, with several centres helping thousands of people in need, with emotional and other psychological problems. Though a founder member of Vishwas, I could not be an active member because of my own full time work. But I feel proud to have been a part, even though miniscule, of Vishwas. My best wishes to Vishwas – “may your tribe increase”
and continue with the great work you are doing!
Cancer patients are a lonely lot. Besides the physical pain, the mental trauma of having contracted the big C is so overwhelming. I desperately wanted to help them and began looking around for a trainer to prepare counsellors for such lonely and suffering people. Feeling quite lost I started making frantic enquiries and was directed to “a Wg. Cdr. Murthy who works in HAL”! I went to their headquarters and, lo and behold, I ran into this person right in their Chairman’s office.
Call that history but it turned out that Murthy was a professionally trained counsellor and these qualifications entitled him to train other counsellors. Murthy trained our first small group of six or seven, we grandly started out and our wait for callers began. Initially, the wait was long but once the needy began to come in there has been no let up. Fortunately, what started out as a centre for cancer counselling, began seeing all sorts of people with a wide range of concerns and traumas. Now the cancer counselling has moved from Vishwas to Karunashraya, the hospice for advanced cancer patients but all other problems are being dealt with by Vishwas.
All the best to them when they have just reached into adulthood at 21.
Late Gurunandan Mulky
I had my first two callers on 5 September. One thing we learn is that there are very many persons who are in far worse circumstances than we are.
I think I will be better equipped to solve my own problems at home or rather to see that there are no problems at home.
(Excerpted from the Vishwas Diary)
Late Prabhakar Rao
I am happy to be associated with Vishwas where in a group of dedicated volunteers spare their time and energy in spite of their busy schedules to counsel callers with diverse emotional issues. Many a caller has benefitted considerably from Vishwas.
May Vishwas grow from strength to strength and continue to serve as a beacon of light to those suffering from various emotional problems. Amen!
(Excerpted from the Vishwas Diary)
I recall with nostalgia that after preliminary discussions with Indian Cancer Society, we had the first batch training programme in June 1991 with 12 volunteers.
Most of them had no connection with the Cancer Society. On conclusion of the training, this core group of volunteers did three things very well – by consensus named the centre as Vishwas, opted for full spectrum counselling ( not for just cancer cases) and confidently commenced operations on 29 August 1991.
I recall the first few weeks of operations when we received some really interesting and complex cases. It was a pleasure to see this fresh group of volunteers teaming to reach out to the people with difficulties confidently and in consultation. On conclusion of 21 long years of service to the community, I bow
with sincere appreciation to all the people who have manned and managed
Vishwas over the decades and raised her from being a simple helping venture to a highly influential organization in the field of mental health and associated domains. May she continue to mentally nurse people in the future for many
Reminiscence of a path I have followed over the last 22 years with passion and perseverance. Vishwas to me has become my way of life. This most satisfying and fascinating journey has made me the biggest beneficiary. It has awakened me to understanding the uniqueness of human minds and their behaviors. I have moved away from taking stands of right and wrong to accepting and realizing that there are many perspectives. The challenge is to tune in to the right frequency of these perspectives be it – a couple, a family or a work situation.
I want to use this opportunity to thank each one of my colleagues for their faith and support they had in me over the years. I truly believe that Vishwas wouldn’t exist but for this support. I would also like to express a deep sense of affection and gratitude that the people I reached out to have bestowed on me. Their good wishes and positivity keeps me going until today. And to Vishwas all I want to say is you taught me commitment, discipline, empathy and humility.
I salute YOU.
My Association with Vishwas goes back to 1991. In spring of that year a group of like-minded people got together and after intense training in counselling started the organisation called Vishwas in August 1991. The people I met during those training sessions, a relationship of warmth and camaraderie that we all shared, still remains to this day.
Vishwas has had a profound influence on my life – my way of
thinking, my way of doing and my way of living. My life changed dramatically after I joined Vishwas. I became calmer, more tolerant, less judgemental, less rigid in my outlook, and in fact, my own personal problems seemed to recede in the background as I helped my callers come to terms with their difficulties.
VISHWAS was the most worthwhile experience that happened to me and though I may not have achieved much in my life I have the satisfaction of being a member of Vishwas. THANK YOU