" A major challenge is to convince the parents to give special attention to these children."
Though I had previously interacted with special children, it is always heartwarming to spend more time with them. So I was looking forward to our programme visit as I made my way to this organisation in Gurgaon that looks at early detection and intervention for children with multiple disability.
Apart from interacting with the children, I got a chance to speak to one of their counselors as well. “A major challenge faced while working with special children is convincing the parents to give special attention to these children and motivate them. I have had plenty of personal and professional experience and I try my best to counsel other parents to do the same. In the last 10 years, I’ve been able to learn a lot in terms of career growth, training and development which has been both personally and professionally rewarding,” said Ms Shashi about her experience here.
She was a teacher at a government school prior to joining the NGO. She has been at the NGO for more than 10 years and is a parent of a special child herself. Her care and devotion towards her child was one of the main reasons for a change in her career path.
She now works with children in the age group of 3-6 years. As these children are too small to come to the NGO regularly, the organisation provides them with customised schedules that cater to their needs.
Her efforts like that of all the others in the programme was a truly inspiring experience for me.
– Rubaina Juneja, Resource Mobiliser, Concern India Foundation (Delhi)
A visit to this special school supported by Concern India Foundation for the mentally challenged children from socio-economically deprived backgrounds was an emotional experience for me.
When I entered the school, I saw children aged 5 and above undergoing a session with educational toys and games. Children in the school are grouped as per their mental abilities into three classrooms. Besides education, they are taught important everyday skills.
Ms Usha, one of the teachers at the school told me, “While other children begin to talk around the age of 1, many children from our school don’t know the use of words. Many can’t even be seated for an hour. Few require help to eat. Sometimes even the parents cannot understand why they are ‘not normal’ when their siblings are perfectly normal.”
Being a parent myself, I could feel what the pain parents were going through. But, at the same time, felt great that by supporting this programme we are enabling the children to be self-sufficient. It was heartening to see innocent smiles on their faces as I volunteered to take them to the nearby park.
I was overwhelmed when one of them came to me, shook hand, wished and blessed me with a big smile on his face. In the morning, when I entered the project, I wasn’t prepared to face harsh realities of life, but by evening I had had some memorable time that I will never forget.
Romila Sadasivan, Resource Mobiliser, Concern India Foundation (Bengaluru)