The Institute Counselling Service has started a new initiative towards maintaining good mental health called “Samvad.” Under Samvad, we aim to organize various talks, panel discussions and related activities to spread mental health awareness.
Life Lessons from a Spiritual Engineer: IIT Kanpur lecture
About the Speaker

Dr. Anil Rajvanshi
Padma Shri
Date: 12th March, 2024
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Venue: L-7
Dr. Anil K. Rajvanshi is a spiritual engineer. After his graduation in me- chanical engineering from IIT Kanpur in early 1970s he went to U.S. for higher studies. He runs a small rural NGO called Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute in Phaltan, Maharashtra and does R&D in renewable energy, rural and sustainable development. For his work on renew- able energy and sustainable development he has won many prestigious national and international awards. In 2022 he was given one of India's highest civilian award - Padma Shri. He is passionate about teaching youngsters and gives inspirational lectures all over India and abroad.
Above is the video of a lecture that he gave at IIT Kanpur where he talks about his life journey and why he took a very different path than most of the young IITians. He left a very lucrative career in USA to come back to rural Maharashtra in 1981. Dr. Rajvanshi discusses what were the forces which made him do so. The lecture was arranged jointly by the DOSA and DORA of IIT Kanpur.
Mindfulness for Well Being, Focus and Energy

Dr. Vivek Benegal
Professor of Psychiatry,
National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS)


Addiction can be confusing. Especially when one isn't sure if engagement with some substances or activities is just curiosity, necessity or compulsion. Such habits can be notorious in the sense of causing more harm than one realizes.

And by the time one does, a lot of harm has already been done to the person, their future, and aspirations.

Counselling Service invited Dr. Vivek Benegal from NIMHANS to help us understand addictive behaviors better so that we are equipped to know how to help ourselves and people we care about while dealing with addictive substances and habits.

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It is important for us to come together to prevent our friends from taking any untoward step. We often fail unwittingly, to lend a helping hand in their hour of distress, because more often than not, we are incapable of recognising the symptoms and hence are unable to provide the necessary support.

It is also crucial for people to realise that they will find help, if only they would seek it. The aim of the panel discussion, “Holding on to the Light”, is to raise awareness about this issue and also to look for possible solutions. Because, in an inclusive society, suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility.

The Panelists

Prof. Goutam Deo
Professor, Chemical Engineering and Ex-Head, CS
Dr. Alok Bajpai
Ms. Rita Shukla
Mr. Adityaa Bajpai
Coordinator, UG team CS
Mr. Aarush Mohit Mittal
Mentor, PG team CS
Ms. Ekta Surender
PhD Student, Design Programme
The Moderators

Arpita Gupta
Project Counsellor, CS
Prama Bhattacharya
Project Counsellor, CS
About The Speaker

Dr. Sanjay Mahendru
M.D. in Psychiatry ,
Mahendru Psychiatric Centre

The final program, under Samvad, of the Counseling Service for this semester is a talk on "Mindfulness for Well Being, Focus and Energy" by Dr. Sanjay Mahendru.
Dr. Mahendru is an M.D. in Psychiatry and is also a psychiatrist associated with the Counseling Service.
You can read more about the session here:
The details of the talk are:
Date: 30th October 2018
Time: 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Dr. Sanjay Mahendru
Venue: L-16
Tea will be served at 6:15 p.m.

Counselling Service brings to you "From LOST to FOUND" the first program, under SAMVAD, for this semester. SAMVAD as a mental health initiative recognizes stories and narratives as powerful ways of connecting people through their struggles and their success. Margaret Atwood said that "In the end, we'll all become stories". However, people who chose to share their stories are also sharing their truths, their light, their courage, and their warmth with whoever might need it. By owning their stories, they are also accepting themselves, celebrating their struggles, owning their failures, and shaping their future. From LOST to FOUND is bringing stories of people from the community, for the community, with the intentions of building empathetic and nurturing spaces at IITK. Join us for an interactive session to celebrate the struggles of everyday living and contribute to each other's ways of living life with respect, dignity, and courage.
Date: 20th January 2020
Time: 6:15 PM
Venue: L-17
Tea will be served at 6 p.m.

The Panelists

Ms. Rita Shukla
Shreyosi Vashishtha
Rupesh Chafle
Anurag Dwivedi

Arpita Gupta
Project Counsellor, CS

Q&A from Lost to Found

Q. I think I am a good listener. However, when someone expresses an opinion on a situation that is totally contrasting to me – I have this bias that this person is overthinking or thinking wrongly of the situation; and that results in expressing my opinion too – leading to a poor conversation. How do you, as a counselor, practice to keep your bias totally aside?
You bring in a lot of self-awareness with your question. Counsellors’ education and training improve their communication skills and allow them to practice empathy along with maintaining their rationality. On a general level, learning assertive communication skills might be useful to maintain a good conversation. Using the given communication style, a person can learn to express their thoughts and feeling without coming across as too aggressive or too passive to others.

HowQ. to realize that we’re ‘worthy’ of it? How could one be ‘what you want to be’ retaining what ‘you originally are’?
Being worthy of a meaningful, happy, and satisfying life is the goal of human existence. Things/people/experiences which make you question your worth and your happiness need to be questioned themself. The second part of the question compares future ‘self’ with the present ‘self’. It relates to the underlying insecurities and fear which any life changes bring about. You can understand it in this way that the “5-year younger you” is not the same as “the present you”. In the same way, “the future you” will also be different. Although, you are one person, and what connects them is ‘being you.’ When you develop an awareness of ‘who I am’ as a person, then external changes will only be able to bring external effects, and internally it will be the same ‘you’ who has gone through these changes.

Q. I have a wingie from a reserved category who has a very low CPI < 4 after the third semester. He is facing Academic Probation. He has lied to his parents about his CPI. He is currently participating in Galaxy(dance). He does not talk with anybody from the wing (from the beginning). What do you think should be done to help him? Do you think it is necessary for the counselling service or the Institute to prevent such people from participating in cultural events as their CPI is low? Or do you think something can be done to do the above-mentioned activities? Please give a realistic response.
Your question reflects a lot of concern and good intentions on your part. For your wingie, 1. Academic help can be provided to him through academic mentors or TAs. 2. As per the Institute policy, if a student is in 'Academic Probation' or 'Warning’, they can not hold any ' Position Of Responsibility'. 3. If a student does not want to take part in some hall level event/activity but is being forced by seniors or peers, one can inform his Student Guide, counsellor, Head of Counselling Service, DOSA, or Hall warden. He will be exempted from taking part in the event. However, if a person is extremely motivated to take part in some co-curricular activity and is unable to make the balance between academics and co-curricular activities, then he has to work on his 'Time Management' . Attending regular classes and a few hours of self-study may help him.

Q. How do you overcome the feeling of loss of interest in doing basic routine daily life? How do you cope up with the constant thoughts of what shall I do to be happy in a depression period? How to cope with this if the person gets diagnosed with depression with anxiety and panic attacks behavioral problems? 
Losing interest in doing basic routine daily life is signs and symptoms of depression and with the help of psychological intervention, a person can improve their interest in doing things.  It is like a process to work on that to develop interest in daily activities in collaboration with the therapist and client. There is no specific way to be happy during a depression period. During that period a person goes through negative automatic thoughts about the self,future and sometimes about the world. So during this time a professional counselor or therapist can help a person to live in a normal way. If a person is diagnosed with depression it’s difficult for the person to cope up with the depression, but with the help of medication and psychotherapy and counseling a person with depression can cope up and lead a normal life.

Q. It happens very often to me that I am doing something and my mind is not there. Basically I loose focus and concentration while I know this type of behaviour will cause difficulty to my life, mostly , to my studies. Please suggest something about it. 
Thank you for sharing your problem with us. There can be many ‘n’ number of variables which are contributing to your problem. It can be boredom or lack of interest in the work or studies or maybe you are finding the subject difficult, also it reflects your mental state, which can also be the reason behind impaired concentration and attention. In my opinion, Mindfulness based therapies will help you in resolving your problem. You are most welcome to Counselling service.

Q. Suppose if you have sought changes thinking for your good.You try doing right things and one after another things keep going on wrong no matter how you try. How should one keep himself/herself emotionally & mentally stable in that case?
There are many times in our lives we don’t get desired outcomes . Sometimes , introspection helps, sometimes accepting things as they are makes yourself stable.  You should work on your coping mechanism and a professional psychologist can also help you with this.