Newsletter December 2015
From The President’s Desk
How much are we thinking for mentally challenged persons?
On December 8, 2015, we celebrated Mental Disability Day. Many good hearted people from the society came forward to make the day a special one for the special people. It once again triggered off in me the thought process about whether it is enough for the common man to think about the happiness of special friends only on Mental Disability Day. What are we doing for them as a society?
Are we really thinking for them and their families?
Are we concerned about their happiness and dignity?
Do we really understand mental retardation?
In most people, there are many questions regarding mental disability, mentally challenged friends and their families. If people make an effort to understand this sector, then the questions mentioned above will raise their heads.
For example, when people visit Navkshitij and meet adult special friends, their instant conclusion
Is that these people have been abandoned by their families. If someone is very vocal, he or she will come to my office and ask me whether the special friends have families and if they do how often do they come to meet them. The slight agitation in their tone cannot be missed. They expect the answer to be, No one comes; they have been abandoned by their families. They are considered a nuisance at home and hence they are here.
When they hear that the special friends are from families like ours, that their parents love them a lot and take them home for social functions like marriages and family get-togethers, the visitor becomes obviously uncomfortable. Then the next question invariably is, Then why are they here?
Here comes an opportunity to explain to them why we need organizations like Navkshitij because though their parents love them, it is very difficult for them to meet the demands of an adult special friend. As adults, the special friends too need peer group (just like any normal young person). They need exciting programs and a daily routine, which give them a feeling of self-worth.
When they hear this response from me, it opens their eyes, and they begin to understand the need for organizations like ours.
I really think people should start support groups to help families of special friends. Right from the birth of a special friend, the family needs support in many areas. People should come forward with an open and sensitive mind to support these families and organizations like ours. Only then can we truly claim that India is on the path of overall progress. It is my deep-rooted belief that when we think of any nation, we should first see how the differently abled people in the country are looked after. Think about it, act on it. Let us bring about a change in the new year.
A peek into the minds of our Friends Special friends never fail to amaze me with their perception of a situation, their zest for life, their determination to overcome an obstacle with a smile and, very importantly, with their sense of humor and appreciation for others.
A few years ago, there came an autistic girl on trial admission at Navkshitij. She had a history of violent behaviour. Even I wasn’t prepared for the level of violence she started throwing things and hitting people. Luckily for us, our Friends were on an outing, though they were expected back at any time. We were wondering how to handle the situation when it occurred to me to share the truth with them. We decided to stop our Friends outside and make them understand the situation.
To everyone’s surprise, they did understand and waited patiently outside till the new girl calmed down.
Similarly, while trekking, they unfailingly bring tears of happiness to me by their grit and determination to overcome obstacles that too with a smile on their faces. During competitions and festivals, we witness and sense their zest for life. They notice small things such as a different haircut or a new dress and communicate their appreciation of the same to the person. I have personally received such appreciation and compliments many times. The best part is that one feels so good every time it happens.
Their perception is astonishing, to say the least. Once, a couple working in the workshop had a heated argument. On seeing this, one of our Friends came out and jovially remarked that it was good he was not married. Wives are a nuisance.
Everyone who heard this burst out laughing, including the couple that was fighting! We love you, dear Friends.
- January 2: Trek to Bhor
- January 14: Makar Sankrant
- January 20: Traffic Awareness Programme
- January 23: Trek
- January 26: Republic Day Celebrations and Vanbhojan at Kusgaon
- December 3: World Disability celebrated with volunteers from CISCO Systems
- December 9: Traffic Awareness Programme
- December 12: Twelfth Foundation Day. Cultural programme and dinner for wellwishers
- December 26: Sakal Foundation and Guru Nanak Foundation presented an award to Dr. Neelima Desai for her innovative and significant contribution to society
- December 31: New Year’s Eve Party
Navkshitij now needs:
- 45 Face Napkins – Approximate cost Rs. 2,000
- 60 Door Mats – Approximate cost Rs. 6,000
- Vegetable Cutting Machine – Approximate cost Rs. 20,000
- 2 Mini Uttapam Tawa/Pan – Approximate cost Rs. 1,000
- Big Size Dosa and Chapati Tawa – Approximate cost Rs. 8,000
- 24 Tennis Balls
- 2 Cricket Net – Approximate cost Rs. 6,000
- 3 Halogen Lights – Approximate cost Rs. 5,500
- 50 Duty Diary – Approximate cost Rs. 5,000
- 24 Thick Brooms (kharate) – Approximate cost Rs. 1,200
- 12 Bathroom Mugs – Approximate cost Rs. 840
- 1 LCD Projector – Approximate cost Rs. 40,000
- 4 Metal Boxes (for storing grain) – Approximate cost Rs. 6,000
- 2 Garden Swings – Approximate cost Rs. 20,000