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Anandhi Viswanathan and Priya Seshadri (Counselors Rotary Bangalore):

We are very happy to share with you that the team from Rotary Bangalore Abilities that took training in counselling from Banjara Academy is all set to put the training to practice. We launched Upashruti Helpline – a telephonic and online counselling service for persons with disabilities – on 15th August, 2019. The helpline is operational between 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

We wish to express our gratitude to you and your team at Banjara Academy for giving us the knowledge and the confidence to start this important service.

Asma Ansari (B.Tech ECE, Freelance writer and translator)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has been a roller coaster ride, where I confronted my blind spots, challenged my apprehensions and beliefs, accepted myself wholeheartedly and began to trust my path and journey. I learnt I can become what I choose to. I learnt how to be and let be. I am forever grateful to my faculty, mentors, batch mates and counselors who have enriched my life. DCS has been the North Star for me and would continue to be, always walking along and subtly pointing me towards the path I wish to tread.

Manisha B. Chhapwale (B.Com and P.G Diploma in Finance. Asst. Manager MIS at Ashapura Group of Industries)

I feel blessed for having been given an opportunity to attend the Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy. My biggest takeaway was the development of a non-judgmental attitude. This course has helped me overcome my inhibitions and helped me appreciate the struggles and strengths of others. And our mentor Ali is one of the few people we can idolize due to his simplicity and modesty – qualities that I would always strive towards for the rest of my life.

Santosh Rao (B.Com. Founder Itjobzone)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has helped me inculcate the habit of uninterrupted listening, understanding the perspective of the speaker and taking my time to make any comments whatsoever.. Institutional visits has helped me realize that we have so much to be thankful for. Looking at the spectra of issues people deal with day in and day out, has made me acknowledge our lives as a gift from god. This has helped me not only in counseling but in my every – day life and relationships too.


Padmaja Harish (B.SC. Head Mistress at Nehru Centenary)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has helped me regain my confidence, overcome my struggles and has truly changed my perspective. The program has helped me develop the art of listening to others and catching their emotions. It has taught me skills that I would use, not just professionally, but also personally. I would like to thank the entire team of Banjara for changing my attitude and approach towards others. I now look forward to a long life of happiness!

Prathibha N R (B.A Psychology. Marketing Manager at Production 139)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy was like going back to school. Lots of friends, teachings, assignments, reviews, class parties and lunches! The experience was so enjoyable and interesting, that I never wanted to miss a single class. But, most importantly, this program has built in me the courage to deal with struggles and loss and that is my biggest takeaway in life.

Serene Sarah George (C.A–Inter. Assistant Manager Finance at AIR-ASIA)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has been a course of self-help in terms of understanding and accepting myself better. It has paved way for in depth self-introspection and greater acceptance of my dear ones as well. To an extent that I am able to truly accept the value systems and views of other individuals without making any judgments. I have now become a process oriented person rather than a result oriented person. The entire experience has helped me get in touch with my emotions, sensitized me to the varied life circumstances of others and has, most importantly, taught me to practice gratitude.

Mukesh Madhavan ( – IT Sr.Developer Target Corporation India)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy was a true eye – opener for me and has me helped me see the value in empowering people. The various nuances of counseling are taught with complete transparency. This has helped me gain more clarity and become non-directive in my approach. Meeting so many wonderful people has also helped me network better. Overall, I have got the best of this and more than what was expected.

Srinidhi H K (M.C.A. HOD Of Computers at Nagarjuna PU College)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has given imbibed in me skills that have truly helped me in so many arenas of life. Professionally, I am able to connect so much better with the people I work with, specifically children who are differently abled. Apart from that, I am able to deal with my interpersonal relationships in a much better fashion. I see myself as a calmer person even in times of crises situations, thanks to the program.

Seema Nair (M.SC in Communication. Program Officer of development and human rights)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy was the beginning of the process of self-awareness. The course experience has been pretty good for me in more ways than just counseling experience. Being a journalist, I would earlier ask questions for the sake of curiosity, but now it is a conscious and a deliberate skill used to understand an individual. I has instilled in me a level of discipline and internalized my commitment to the importance of counselling in our society.

Anand Kumar Singh (BBM Finance, Asst Mgr Ops at ATOM)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy teaches you the true difference between sympathy and empathy and helps you practice the latter skill. As someone who practices Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), I have realized that the focus is generally only on the physical and mental aspects of the individual, ignoring the emotional aspect. The course has taught me the importance of dealing with emotions and the value of counseling, which are aspects that I plan to incorporate in the field of MMA.

Rakesh Kumar Vaidya (B.A Working in Indian Air Force)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy delivered beyond my expectations. The program goes past counseling and gives one the opportunity to develop oneself. I am now a changed person from when I began this course. Dr. Ali’s book were truly instrumental in this change. Additionally, the articles and video lectures on the Banjara website give one a bounty of knowledge. All in all, these are skills that were learnt not just for counseling, but for my life.


Girish RJ (Masters in IT. – Project Manager HCL)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has created in me a belief, that to be mindful, it is important to be in ‘Peace with self and harmony with others’. There has been great progress in my interpersonal and intrapersonal skills with an increase in self-awareness. I have also become a lot more receptive and understanding to the perspective of others. The non-directive approach taught here has helped me realize that every person is capable of making their decisions and bettering their lives – all with a little mirroring and usage of skillsets by the counselors.

Mamta V Hemdev (B.Com, Home maker)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has built my confidence and courage. I have garnered friends and learning’s that proved to be my greatest eye openers. I am able to recognize a shift in my personality and feel calmer, much more patient and have become more accepting of things and circumstances as they are. I have now accepted life as the most precious gift from god.

Preetam Aswath (Post Graduate MFA, Teacher at Euro Kids)

To be accepting and non-judgmental does not come naturally because of our unique cultural, social, religious upbringing. The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy, however, has completely reversed those beliefs. The course touched on intense subjects seamlessly and helped me garner profound knowledge on such topics. It has opened a door to showcase the vulnerabilities of human life and also how human courage has the ability to make life more interesting, livable and find happiness in the wake of tragedies.

Sharada S (B.E in E&C, Engineer ISRO)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has left me with a deep impact and a great amount of awareness. The exposure to people from varied walks of lives and facing different struggles was an revelation in itself. Additionally, being given an opportunity to interact with eminent personalities gave me a sense of motivation to pursue a similar mindset and life. I am truly grateful to Banjara for giving me, not just theoretical knowledge, but also practical skills for life.


Bindu Menon (B.SC Administrator at Vidya Mandir School)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has been a wonderful experience for me in many ways. I have literally relived my college days with all the fun and interesting activities lined up. Meeting individuals from varied age groups was the best and the most unique experience. Institutional visits helped me grasp the importance of positive spirit one needs towards life to be able to face multiple challenges. The staff and faculty of Banjara are supportive and interactive throughout the whole course, which I am truly thankful for.

Parthasarathy (Consultant at Wipro Technologies)

Diploma in Counselling (DCS) is one of the best things that happened in my life at the right time. This program was all about self-exploration at my pace and reconnecting with self-awareness, self-reflection, self-introspection, interpersonal relationships. It gave me an exposure as to how to go about non-directive counseling that enriches one’s being. Banjara and all its wonderful facilitators are part of my gratitude journal for enabling me to see things beyond the obvious in life! Quite happy & proud to be part of this wonderful Banjara Family now!

Dr. Vishwesh Vishnumurthy (MBBS Bangalore University, Diploma in family medicine, UK)

“I had an enriching experience at Banjara and just didn’t realize how short 1 year could be! I learnt a lot of human centric concepts from the rather friendly faculty and more importantly I went through a process of unlearning and re-learning things the right way! Banjara is one of the few places where a lot of importance is given to time! Besides those that are interested in counselling, I would recommend this course for individuals who deal with people constantly in their professional lives”

Chandrika Radhakrishnan (M.A in English Literature Writes for The Hindu, Deccan Herald and various magazines)

Banjara Academy has taught me to look into myself and become more perceptive not only about my own thoughts and feelings, but also of other people. I was taught to learn and hone those skills and become non-judgemental, which was hitherto quite unused by me. I believe that if we would like to be a life-long learner and keep our mental ageing at bay, Banjara is a go-to place, for the learning happens beyond the four walls of the academy.

Sudhir YR (B.E, MBA Digital Marketing, Sr. Mgr at Smart Owner Services)

The Diploma in Counselling Skills course at Banjara Academy had made me a better listener, taught me to empathize with other people, and be non-judgmental. It has made me accept people the way they are with all their inadequacies and look at them at them as a complete whole rather than in bits and pieces. I take this opportunity to thank Dr Ali and his entire team at Banjara Academy for the wonderful learning and driving home the point that “Fulfillment is sought from within and not from the materialistic world outside”.

Dr. Girish Baindur (MBBS. Manager at ISRO)

The Diploma in Counselling Skills course at Banjara Academy is a thoroughly enjoyable experience that is rich in content and form. It taught me a lot about myself and others, as well. We were very fortunate to have such exalted and extra ordinary faculty who gave us their unique perspectives. Not to mention, Ali and the behind-the-scenes hard work of Purnima and staff. This course gave me many things that I needed to know about the finer nuances of Counseling. I feel a lot more confident in handling counselees. THANK YOU BANJARA AND THANK YOU ALI for the way you have transformed us all!!!

J.S.Nathan (Partner at V3 Group)

Banjara as a team are highly committed and highly principled in their approach. The guest lecturers are highly accomplished and stalwarts in their own field, and listening to their experiences and knowledge is like icing on the cake. I also would like to thank our mentor Dr Ali Khawja, a very unassuming and humble person, who conveys his message with humor. The one year of DCS has helped me understand what counselling is and has helped me become a better human being. I will cherish all the good times I have had with Team Banjara.

Dr. H. G. Jayalakshmi (M.DAvurveda. Asst prof of Social Work at IIAMR)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) from Banjara Academy has helped me understand the importance of counseling in today’s fast changing society and has left such an impact on me that I am planning to take up Counseling as my profession. In fact, being a doctor and a teacher, I was practicing it without knowing the nuances of it. All that I was doing was listening to anyone in distress with all my heart. Learning from Banjara has provided me with the tools with which I can work better.

Shruti Kulkarni (Specialist in Movement Arts, Freelance dance Instructor)

Banjara Academy is undoubtedly one of its kind in India. The journey in Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) has not only helped me value the relationships I share in life but has also helped me immensely with introspection. I realized how much we all need help in life and Banjara teaches us exactly this, how to help yourself and others. It makes us better human beings and this world, an even better place to live in! If you have always wanted to make a difference in this world, this course is for you. Because change, my friend, starts from within.

Nanditha Goud (M.A English. Freelance trainer for Soft skills and Behavioral Skills)

“The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy was more of a thought provoking INTERNAL journey through a year accompanied with fun learning. The intense yet relaxed learning atmosphere has taken me through a lot of self – introspection leading to self awareness and self realization which in turn has brought about peace n serenity within. This has brought about a readiness to be with others in their journey of life”

Shubha Roopesh (Primary Teacher at Sri Chaitanya Techno School. Specialises in training children with special needs)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy was more of a journey with self. I have learnt to accept things the way they are and can surely say that this molded me into a better human being. The course has helped me become more empathetic, non-judgmental and has also refined my listening skills. So much so, that the changes in me have been perceived and appreciated by the people around me.

Sheeca Ganapathy (B.A in Psychology, M.A in History and Public Administration. Worked with Taj Group of hotels)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has metamorphed me somebody I love even more now. I have been shaken up from my unconscious, subconscious and conscious slumber many a times and in this awakening, I was awed by my own strengths, determinations, potentials and flaws. This has enriched my knowledge and understanding of human capabilities and emotions. My heart will always be grateful to Banjara for this exposure because I would never have ventured into these territories myself.

Shalini N Chawla (M.Sc Student)

My experience in the DCS course at Banjara Academy is one of personal growth. I have learnt to be self-aware, assertive, calm and patient. Earlier, empathizing and listening to people used to be a challenge for me. But ever since I began my journey at Banjara, I have found myself improving in both these areas and this has furthermore helped me deal with people in a better fashion.

Kalluri Sreya (B.Tech Bioinformatics. Teaches Pottery and Customer Success Specialist at FreshDesk)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has helped me re-discover myself. This program has pushed me to recognize my inhibitions and overcome them. I am now more open to meeting new people and have no qualms in initiating conversation. Hence, along with counseling skills, I have also garnered the knack to network and connect to people from various walks of life. It goes without saying that my personal relationships have improved significantly and professionally, I feel a lot more confident and equipped as a Counselor.

Zulfiya Parveen (Teacher at M.H.N Islamic School)

Joining the Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has been one of the best decisions of my life. It has changed my outlook in life and helped me view people in a better light. Respecting and accepting the belief systems of all individuals without judging them has now become a second nature to me. Above all, I have learnt to love myself. For this, I will always be thankful to Banjara Academy.

Mary Dolly (Masters in Social Work, B.A – Bangalore University. Correspondent at NGO(BOSCO)

The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has helped me identify my opportunities for growth, enhance my strengths, look beyond words and identify the emotions in people I chance to meet upon. I am now able to see a human being as a whole, flaws and all, and yet beautiful as ever. It has been an inward journey of finding oneself, seeking the light within and then the outward journey of preparing oneself to be the light to those wanting to find themselves. Thank you Ali and the entire team for this exquisite experience. Proud to be a Banjarite!


The Diploma in Counseling Skills (DCS) at Banjara Academy has taught me to be grateful for the little things in life that we take for granted. I also realized that accepting and understanding others is what builds relationships. It has helped me moved out of my comfort zone and share experiences with individuals from different spheres of life. It has truly been a beautiful journey of self-discovery.

Rajeshwari V Nag. Counselor Member of High Court, Director AJNA Counseling & Training

I feel DCS has helped me gain a clear insight into how I see within myself and how I view the world external to me. I don’t have to make an extra effort to become self-aware, to accept myself, to cope up with the life events and I am at peace within myself. This is one of the 2 major benefits from DCS. I am able to reach out to many people who are in emotional turmoil and distress through counselling.


Sunitha B. J. (Manager, Karnataka Health Promotion Trust):

We internalize what is happening during the course — and there is self-introspection. Because of this I came to know about positive and not so positive qualities of mine, thus bringing about self-enhancement.

Dr. Sumathi K T (counselor Philips Electronics and NXP):

A lay person to whom the concept of counselling is completely new, this course gives introduction. It helps the individual to understand emotions, improve oneself and one’s relationship with others. A person who is really interested in getting into counselling can grow from here.

The Reward for Work well done is the Opportunity to do more

Bala Chauhan (Chief of Bureau, Deccan Chronicle):

It’s about knowing myself, understanding myself, understand people, and put relationships in better perspective — it got me in touch with myself.

Dr. Chandra Janakiraman (former Faculty Bangalore University):

Quite a few people questioned my decision to do the DCS course as I had already done a Diploma course in Counseling from CCC, Vellore before getting my PhD in Psychology. The difference between my other courses and DCS is simply this: Doing DCS helped me understand myself at a deeper level. I became more self-reliant in dealing with life and actually learnt how to deal with life without getting flustered. I also finally learnt how to empathize, for real.

Captain LN Prasad (Retd) Indian Navy. Executive Manager, Project Management Institute (PMI):

“I did my DCS in the year 2011. It is a wonderful course. It enabled me to get a good understanding of human behavior, their emotions,and feelings, It has also helped me to understand and communicate well with people. Finally I am able to face the Ups and downs of life in a very confident way.”

Dr. S.Vasanthakumari, MBBS, MRCOG (London), DRCOG (Dublin), ObG:

When I came I was quite distressed with negative emotions. DCS gave me insight into human emotions and how to process them. I worked on myself and climbed up from narrow end of tunnel to wider end. Now I feel well balanced with my inner peace and outer harmony…Thanks to Dr Ali Khwaja for making practical psychology accessible to all of us.

Suneetha Ramesh….

“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.”

I am Suneetha Ramesh, very passionate about reaching out to people. Completed DCS in 2008, it was more of self-realisation and introspection than owning new skills. My journey started with unlearn and re-learn been given the first priority.

I learnt to be assertive, improved my listening skills and to be more patient. Became more observant of my emotions and feelings, also got more clarity in my thoughts. It helped me to understand human behaviour better.

The skill sets helped me to accept people as they are and at the same time provided me the ability to encourage my clients to talk about their feelings. The proficiency helped me assisting clients to see things more clearly or in a different light. Also gained an aptitude for building a relation of trust based on mutual respect. The course also helped me in improving my listening skills and be more patient. After completion of DCS, thrive led me to do Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Kuvempu University. Exploring various areas of counselling has been a tremendous quest.

Being associated as a volunteer with organizations like Spandana Rehab Centre, Nightingale Geriatric Centre, Aruna Chethana School for children with special needs and Banjara Academy at RV road helped me in understanding myself, my strengths, keep me grounded and to empathise.

After exploring many areas of counselling, I realised that my true passion lies in helping adolescents. This led me to do Advanced Certification in Student Counselling. Currently associated with St. Joseph’s PU College from past 5 years, Deepa Academy for differently abled, past 4 years and also conduct counselling sessions for parents and teachers (Group and Individual) at Asha for Autism from past 2 years. My intent is always to be a friend, mentor, and guide for students and usher them towards achieving their goals and building a bright future. I firmly believe that under privileged children are also entitled to such guidance. This drive in me helped in conducting workshops

Dr.S Rajesh……

It is my pleasure and privilege to share the experiences of my association with the Banjara Academy. I have been associated with the academy both as an individual and as the Principal of B M School. My dad Mr KSV Subramanyam has been associated with Dr Ali and Banjara since more than 25 years.

The academy has been closely working with our school in areas of counseling and career guidance. In fact every year after the board exam results are out, Dr Ali takes keen interest in meeting the students who have not fared well and giving them a boost of confidence. Thanks to this, all those who did not do well in the main exams invariably come out in flying colours in the supplementary.

I have the experience of having been in DCS and CCG courses. The DCS course in particular was of immense use to me not just to play the role of a counselor, but to live life more fully. It went a long way in fostering better familial ties and personal relationships. It also helped us to understand ourselves better. As a teacher, my DCS experience was greatly useful in the class room to understand the children. I loved DCS so much that I would not mind repeating the same course any number of times!!

Walking into Banjara is a pleasant and refreshing experience every time. Every one in the academy is brimming with positivity and they make you feel nice and respected.

I wish the academy all the best and that it continues to enrich the lives of scores of persons in the years to come.

Chitra Ramarajan, Associate Director NIVE

Doing DCS and CLST from Banjara, has helped me both personally and professionally. While personally it has empowered me and helped me get a lot of clarity, professionally it has increased my effectiveness as a counselor and trainer,enabling me to reach out and make a positive difference in many more lives.

Thank you Banjara and all the mentors, for all the guidance and help during and after the course too.

Susanna Lokhande

Dear Dr.Ali, I wish to say thank you for everything.You and your team Banjara are Amazing!. My association with Banjara has been a wonderful experience. You have a very professional and caring staff

There has surely been a positive change in my life.Today with joy I am able to reach outnot only to patients at Lokhande Hospital but also as a volunteer at Baptist hospital, Navjeevana orphanage, Helpage India , Kidwai hospitaland many other centres.

All this has given me a tremendous sense of wellbeing, purpose and confidence.

Banjara, without any doubt makes lives better and may god bless you and may you continue your services for many more years to come.

Kamala Vishwanathan

With expertise and years of experience in personality development training, student’s career and family counseling; I firmly believe that I can contribute in a significant way, as I am doing presently to the society.

Today I have secured a challenging position in society that could act as a platform to present myself as professional counselor working to better the lives of people.

I have achieved my goal and have learnt to work on my interpersonal skills. No words can express my feeling of happiness.