Voice of Navkshitij: May 2015
From The President’s Desk
Families mean a lot to our Friends:
We are just back from our summer vacation. Every staff member is feeling refreshed and is raring to go. Our Friends are no less enthused about beginning a new year at Navkshitij.
Every Thursday, I have a special meeting with our Friends. At the weekly meeting following the reopening, our Friends animatedly communicated what they did during their vacation. They talked about their family, a visit to a restaurant or an outing/trip with their family members. What strongly came through it all was their joy on meeting their family and relatives. It told me so much about how they love their families. Some expressed concern about a relative who had been unwell when they left home to come to Navkshitij. They wanted us to call back their families to find out how their relative was faring. I wonder whether the family understands how concerned their wards are and how they worry about their well-being.
There are many misconceptions about special friends. Most people think that they are not aware about what is happening around them and that it makes no difference to them when anyone is ill. Hence, the family does not bother to communicate to the special friends how the patient at home is doing. Let us clearly understand that special friends are very kind-hearted and sensitive people. True, they cannot express their feelings but they care deeply for their near and dear ones. Often, their perception of the situation is very good; they do understand what is happening around them. Many times, it is very frustrating for them because they feel helpless about not being able to do anything.
We should be attentive and sensitive to their emotions. We should take the extra effort to tell special friends about the well-being of their family – immediate and extended, so that they feel less disturbed and have less behavioural problems and can lead a cheerful life.
Friend Murtuza keeps his word:
This month, I would like to share the story of Friend Murtuza Jamnagarwala. Murtuza has been with us for the last seven years. When he first came to Navkshitij, Murtuza was lazy and very possessive. He did not enjoy routine day-to-day activities like shaving, taking a bath and changing clothes. He was afraid that if he changed his clothes and left them around, someone would take them away. He would take other people’s clothes and keep them in his bag so that he could use these clothes and let his possessions remain new. He would keep even his new pair of slippers in his bag and wear someone else’s. Initially it was very tough for his caregiver because if he was requested to take a bath, shave or cut his hair, Murtuza would run around the campus declaring loudly that he did not want to take a bath, shave or cut his hair. He used to tease his peers, especially the girls. If the girls complained, he would immediately apologise and promise not to repeat it, only to do the same thing within the next half hour! He disliked workshop time and would choose to wander around in the premises. After every summer vacation, he would refuse to return despite persuasion by his brother. He would return only when we sent our car to bring him back. This year, when we reopened on May 19, I was pleasantly surprised to see Murtuza on the first day itself.
Over the years, we had observed that Murtuza was changing for the better. He cooperates with his caregiver and now participates in our activities. He participated in the midnight trek in the jungle. He is a happier person now. At the last Thursday meeting with our Friends, before the summer vacation, I told Murtuza to come back on the reopening day itself. He promised me he would. I was extremely happy to note that he kept his word.
I feel so glad when I see such a vast change in our Friends’ personality, posture, and attitude. Needless to say, their self-esteem ups tremendously. They look so happy. We are delighted when parents report to us about how our Friends are so eager to come back here after a fortnight’s break and how they keep talking about Navkshitij during their time with the family. We are indeed glad to have created a loving and comfortable home for them at Navkshitij.
- May 18: Office reopens after summer vacation
- May 19: Residential facility reopens after summer vacation
- May 30: An evening of music by a team of volunteers from Sparsh, A Healing Touch from Infosys
- June 17 : Traffic Awareness Program
- June 27: Monthly Trek
Navkshitij now needs:
- 1 8-kg washing machine – Approximate cost Rs. 30,000
- 3 Godrej cupboards (big) – Approximate cost Rs. 8,000 each
- 1 Volleyball net – Approximate cost Rs. 1000
- 3 Medium sized Mirrors – Approximate cost Rs. 5250
- 3 Big sized Mirrors – Approximate cost Rs. 6000
Thank you from Navkshitij to:
- Ms. Rekha Kulkarni
- Mr. Vinod Naidu
- Mr. Abhay Khanapure
- Mr. Karan Chadha
- Mr. Suresh Kharpudikar
- Ms. Usha S. Kalurkar
- Mr. Shashikant Mengale
- Mr. Gorakshanath Balwadkar
- Mr. Makarand M. Mengale
- Mr. Prabhakar M. Mengale
- Ms. Meena S. Chati
- Mr. Manik S. Kavthekar
- Mr. Venkatesh
- Mr. Kharpodikar
- Flextronics Technologies (India) Pvt Ltd.
(A monthly newsletter published by Dr. Neelima Desai and edited by Kanaka Cadambi on behalf of Navkshitij)