I have just returned from India after a short trip. It was
packed with activities at all the 3 NGOs we support, partly due to the Dasara festivities and mainly due to the half yearly
exams that were just finishing at schools and colleges. Here is a short sum up:
- I visited Maithri the day
following my arrival at Chennai. That happened to be the day of
quarterly distribution of funds to parents for school fees, uniforms
etc...I watched the humble parents presenting the quarterly reports
and discussing the progress of their children before receiving their
payments for the next semester. HCI's name showed up for every 3rd child
and I was duly introduced. Some children had come as well and I spent a
good part of the day in conversation with parents/ children/ Sridhar.
That afternoon, I accompanied Sridhar in his visit to 2 schools and
watched him meet the teachers/ Principal and discuss the progress of the
Maithri children attending that school. The teachers took time to
explain to me how the kids' lives have been turned around by Maithri.
They proudly showed off the awards and prizes won by kids. By the end of
the day, I came away with the conviction to help Maithri in as many ways
- 3 days later, I made a trip
to Nesam - a heart wrenching experience- The day was spent in visiting
the 2 campuses where Nesam runs care centres
for children/ youth afflicted by Cerebral Palsy and mental retardation. I
was literally in tears as I watched a 10 yr old child with the growth of
about 2, being rolled on a ball to keep his nerves stimulated and a teen
age girl's clothes being tied to her body so she won't remove them and
many such sights.
- 2 days later I was at Amar
Seva Sangam (ASSA) and spent 8 days there. It was bustling with enormous
amount of activities, too many to cover here. There has been tremendous
progress in all areas, most heartening being the success of the Disabled
Youth training (DYT) program. There are 53 DYTs .. some of our sponsored have become eligible for merit
scholarships by Govt., making room for new comers. Each youth's
story is heart warming as was each child's at the home/ outreach. The
mentally challenged day care kids have grown to 40 from 12, in 2001 - a
sad place to visit. Overall, it was a heart warming visit to see such
progress in all areas and to be greeted by happy, smiling children.
- Please watch out for photo
updates on our website.