|Dr Alok Bajpai
Psychiatry, Physics, Film, Music, Literature and Teaching are only some of the things that occupy Dr. Alok Bajpai’s wide world.
After his medical graduation, Alok trained in Psychiatry at NIMHANS, Bangalore, – the apex institute of mental health in India. He finished his DPM and MD between 1990 -1996 and then joined The Regency Hospital, Kanpur as Senior Consultant of Psychiatry.
Between 2003-04 and 2006-07, Alok worked as Consultant Psychiatrist in Australia.
Apart from practicing general Psychiatry, a consistent focus of his work has been with child and adolescent mental health and has established a unique child and adolescent mental health centre in Kanpur.
He has been instrumental in putting together many awareness campaigns and workshops – especially with schools and has trained teachers – aiming at increasing sensitivity towards childhood problems, in many Indian cities and states. His ‘NO KIDDING‘ workshops in Chennai which include upto 300 children and parents, from various strata of society, have been immensely popular. These range from life skills to Managing technology for adolescents. The purpose of these interactions is to enhance positive mental health rather than focus on disease. Today a decade of his hard work has slowly created an awareness of Dyslexia and other childhood problems in our population.
A consistent focus is on life skills, especially the process of critical thinking, as an attempt of brain training to help the young minds evolve and evaluate their own ideology. He also conducts regular workshop in Kolkata with Mental Health Foundation.
Some of these workshops like ‘treat or heal’ and ‘the art of teaching’ aim at psychologists and teachers to enhance their understanding of human psyche
Alok is a Consultant Psychiatrist to the IIT, Kanpur students. He is also a Co- mentor at USID e-gurukul organized by IITs. He was also an invited Member of the task force constituted by Ministry of HRD for ‘prevention of suicides and promotion of mental well being in IITs and CFTIs’
He is also a regular columnist who writes about issues of psychiatry and sexuality for general readers.
Another area of his interest is Cinema. He did a short course of film at the FTII, Pune, and script writing workshops and appreciation course at Perth, Australia. He now runs a film society in Kanpur attempting to expose the audiences to an alternative cinema. He also organizes short film making contests with schools and Film Appreciation Workshops with kids. ‘The Auteur’ is a modular workshop developed for an ‘introduction to cinema’ for youth being done at schools and colleges.
One special passion with Alok are the transformational processes of the mind to enhance inner harmony and peace as Mahatma Gandhi remains his leitmotif and example. He regularly anchors a Multimedia Interactive program on Mahatma Gandhi for schools and colleges – essentially to introduce and provoke children, youth and adults to think and re-discover Gandhi’s message of non-violence. This program called ‘An Hour with the Mahatma’ was done with more than 4000 students from school till post doc levels over 60 schools all over India. This has expanded to life skills workshop and provides a platform for the people to learn, discuss and progress.
Gandhi for him is the tool to improve life skills and his exploration continues in applying Gandhi’s tools to various walks of life especially conflict resolution and compassion. These sessions have been done at NIMHANS, Indian Law School, IIC as well as Literary festivals. His monograph on Gandhi is available on Pothi.com and Scribd.
‘Treat or heal’ was one such workshop done for Psychology students of Calcutta University to introduce them to the positive life skills required as a therapist.
His understanding of Gita has resulted in popular workshops ‘WHAT KRISHNA MEANT’ and HUMAN INVESTMENT –MAHABHARATA LESSONS given in Air Force Stations, UP TIE, and in France. Lectures and workshop on various other forums intend to promoting harmony.
Alok also runs an informal group called Chaupal, which regularly meets and has brain storming sessions on arts, literature and poetry. Faiz , Ghalib and Kabir is regular leitmotif at these sessions. His participation in seminars on partition and writings like that of Manto is in keeping with his search for harmony.