The Spirit of Navkshitij
Nova Corona virus has spread havoc the world over and is now spreading in India too. These are difficult times for a residential organisation like Navkshitij committed to taking care of Mentally Challenged Adults friends (MCF) for life. It would have been quite easy to send the special friends home but my colleagues and I didn’t feel that it would have been fair. The parents of many special friends are old and some of the special friends have lost one or even both parents. Plus what would they do at home? The inactivity at home would have triggered off a lot of behavioural problems and the parents or siblings would find it very difficult to take care of their ward in the confines of their house.
At present we are taking care of 50 special friends at our residential unit at Marunji and 8 at our Asawali unit. Five of our friends had gone home for some reason before the lockdown and we had to ask them not to return till the 15th of April. We had to shut down our day school and the day care Autism unit. 24 friends who were coming for the day activity will stayhome till 15th April. All the staff members staying outside Navkshitij premises have been asked to stay at home till mid-April. This is to ensure that no one comes in or goes out of the premises. Residential staff faced main challenge in the kitchen there is only one person instead of four. Seeing this situation our staff members Ganga, Manjula and Asha volunteered to help out in the kitchen. Thanks to them our special fiends are getting their proper diet every day. At the workshop we are left with just three staff members instead of eight. Workshop Manager Mr. Munde, workshop assistant Anuradha and More maushi have been successfully holding fort right from 11 am to 4.30 pm every day. This ensures that our special friends are fruitfully engaged right through the day and their energies are well channelized.
Caregiver co-ordinator Sainath, Facilities co-ordinator Tirupati and Dutta are now looking after 35 special friends. Sakhutai alone is taking care of 15 women because the other female caregiver Ganga is helping in the kitchen. They look after the morning exercise and help them to have a bath. They arrange their clothes and see to it that they get their meals on time. In addition to this they take care of them if they are unwell and take them to the doctor if need be. They also have the responsibility of keeping them busy with carom, snakes and ladders, TV, drawing and painting to see that they enjoy themselves after their workshop hours. It is a demanding job and they are at it round the clock. They also have to handle behavioural issues of our special friends.
The situation in the garden is back-breaking there is only one person Omkar in the garden instead of three. He is doing a fine job of watering the plants and cleaning the premises with the help of a few special friends.
Normally our admin department has four people. Today the work is being handled by Admin manager Mr Wayal. Our 81 years old founder trustee Mrs Vasudha Divekar is staying on site to motivate all of them.
General manager operations Mr Rameshwar, Facility manager Mr Suryavanshi and I are in constant touch with each one of our staff giving them as much support as possible from outside. We have restrained ourselves quite against our wish and refrain from going to Navkshitij in the interest of all the people inside. We reassure them that we are with them in spirit.
Workshop manager Mr Mavhale, Santosh, Rani, Ram, Sadhana and Ashvini is doing an excellent job at looking after the eight special friends at Asawali.
Our staff members at Marunji, just the 14 of them is looking after 50 special friends with a lot of care and empathy. They have had to push themselves really hard to do the work of forty. Their effort is really praiseworthy. Whenever there has been any such problem at Navkshitij my colleagues have always stood up to the challenge, taken bold decisions and shouldered responsibility far beyond their call of duty. I am really proud of each one of them. We always manage to find a way out of any difficult situation with the strength of our team spirit and unity. It is only because of this that we are able to give a happy and meaningful life to our special friends.
This is the Spirit of Navkshitij.
Dr. C. R. Desai,
Founder trustee – Navkshitij