SOME TIME back, I was talking to a young couple about Navkshitij, highlighting the adventure activities. After hearing me out, the girl said, “You guys are doing a great job, true. But getting mentally challenged persons to do all those activities like trekking or zorbing may not be so difficult because they do not know fear. They don’t have emotions. They will simply follow. I mean, I’m not saying your work is nothing. But…”

For a moment, I was taken aback, but then it struck me how ignorant society was about mentally challenged persons. Gathering myself, I told her, “Thank you for appreciating our work and voicing your opinions openly. As it happens, mentally challenged persons do have emotions. They have fear, joy, sadness, happiness and every feeling and emotion that we have. The difference between them and us is that they cannot think about the consequences of an action and its impact on their lives. Besides, they trust the people closest to them, especially when the communication is honest. In a group, that trust becomes infectious.” The couple began to think.

The incident drove home the truth about how equally important raising awareness about mentally challenged persons (amongst society) is as giving them love and care. I’m happy that Navkshitij is addressing this need on a big scale.

By Kanaka Cadambi, Trustee, Navkshitij

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