“The fittest person survives! The fighting man succeeds! He who fights to fit, will survive to succeed!” – Israelmore Ayivor
During my visit to a programme supported by Concern India Foundation, I got a chance to meet Harshith, one of the beneficiaries of a health project we support in Hyderabad.
19 years ago Harshith was diagnosed with thalassemia major, a genetic blood disorder for which he requires blood transfusion regularly, a requirement that will last his entire lifetime.
Currently pursuing his graduation, his goal is to complete his MBA. He is also known as the Sachin Tendulkar of his college cricket team.
His will – power and determination to achieve his goals despite his medical condition is very inspiring. Like any child he has big dreams and does not consider his disorder to be a stumbling block.
Children like Harshith make you realise that one can achieve anything if one has the right attitude and determination to achieve our dreams. They have taught me to dream big no matter what the challenges in front of us are. I have realised that we all have the capacity to overcome them. Harshith’s real life story has really inspired me and the work I do.
Rosheena Ismail, Resource Mobiliser, Concern India Foundation (Hyderabad)
There is something about the sea that brings out the child in everybody. I witnessed that on Children’s Day, when I accompanied 45 brilliant children into the sea for a unique Concern India Foundation event.
Aquasail, India’s premier boating company organised a fun day out for children supported by an NGO in Mumbai. Held in aid of Concern India Foundation to celebrate Children’s Day, the event was sponsored by Nick Jr.
The children along with their escorts and employees from Aquasail boarded the boat from Gateway of India and set sail to Mandwa beach. After breakfast and a quick briefing, we headed to the beach. It was amazing to see the kids interact in perfect English with everyone. They were also up-to-date about every topic under the sun, be it music, sport, films or current affairs.
The day started with a kayaking race and the children had a ball. Competition and team work at its highest form was visible during the race. Following this, the children indulged in some boat balancing where they had to outdo their opponent on a wobbling boat. And without a doubt, the kids were more than thrilled to jump into the water from the boat.
After lunch, we got into sailing boats and ventured into the sea. In an introspective mood, the calm of the sea reflected on the faces of these children. They spent the rest of the day playing and frolicking around. At 5:00 pm after tea, we boarded the boat back to Mumbai and our interesting day came to a quiet end.
– Sagarika Mohanty, Communications Team, Concern India Foundation (Mumbai)
Last week I participated in an event organised by one of our programs in rural Bengaluru. It was the culmination of all the training programmes given to the various women Self Help Groups on gender equality, women’s rights and domestic violence.
During the programme the women were asked to share their experiences on the inputs they received from the training programmes and the kind of impact it had on their personal life. I was very impressed with the confidence of one young woman who came forward, in a gathering of 50 women and few men, to hold a mike and share her experience.
Hema, a 28-years-old young woman was uneducated and a mother of two daughters, living in the Ramanagar district. Her husband is an unemployed alcoholic and she is the sole bread-winner of the whole family also taking care of her ageing parents.
Her abusive husband beat her on a regular interval. After two years of her marriage, she decided to leave her husband’s house and came to live in her mother’s village where she became a member of the SHG group supported by Concern India Foundation.
She soon learnt about the benefits of small savings and gained knowledge about her basic rights – the right to work, earn, live a dignified life and to resist violence meted upon her. The next time her husband beat her up, she braced the courage to not only resist but also beat him up in return. She wanted him to feel the pain she experienced and the loss of dignity she felt every time he encroached her personal space. That day was a turning point in her life. Soon after this episode, her husband stopped abusing her and started treating her with respect.
I was so impressed with the impact of a little intervention in the form of training which changed the world of a poor village woman, who learnt that it was not necessary to reconcile to one’s situation. The training has made her conscious of her rights and empowered her.
– Radhika Nambiar, Assistant Manager Programmes, Concern India Foundation (Bengaluru)
One of my most memorable visits has been to a programme that promotes safe motherhood for the last four years in one of the slum areas of Kolkata.
The area has a population of nearly 60,000 families who work as tailors, rickshaw pullers and daily wage labourers. Girls are traditionally married off at an early age and bear children at an age when they have not even attained mental and physical maturity. The issue of mortality gets further aggravated due to lack of medical facilities in the area.
The project has adopted a holistic approach by creating awareness among expectant mothers and adolescent girls about safe motherhood practices, institutional deliveries and in cases of emergency where an institutional delivery is not possible providing skilled birth attendants who are part of the community action group and ensure a safe delivery along with pre and post natal care.
The programme runs a clinic where pregnant women are treated with vital medical facilities and provided with medicines as and when required. They are also referred to government hospitals and health centres for routine immunisation. Health awareness camps are conducted once in two months to identify patients with gynecological problems and to sensitise community on various health related issues. Along with women, children are also checked by the doctors and treated accordingly.
Currently the project is supporting 1,200 women and 3,000 children of the community.
– Sudakshina Aich, Project Co-ordinator, Concern India Foundation (Kolkata)