Project Laddu – The Kitchen
Recenly one of our kids at Disha was cruelly thrown in the chulha (cooking fire) and was half burnt by his mother just because he was asking for food. That day I realised that while we were busy training the kids to comb their own hair, have a bath themselves or eat on their own in order to make them independent and self reliant, a very big chapter in their life was left untouched.... i.e. we were not teaching them to cook and in the strata of society where my Disha kids stay, cooking for them is an obvious burden for their parents who are either daily wage workers or who earn very less and so my kids are never on their priority list. I started PROJECT LADDU so that my kids will learn to cook atleast simple things themselves and they wont have to depend on anyone atleast for their basic needs. With the launch of project Laddu, we have started training the elder kids with better mental abilities to cook poha,upma, sheera, etc. We also have very young kids at Disha, we dont let them anywhere near the gas and fire, we will train them eventually as they grow up. This project also solves one more purpose - my kids start from home at 9am for school and go back by 1.30pm so by the time they leave, they used to start crying because of hunger, however now, as we give them the snacks that they cook themselves, they go back home happy n content.
Project Aarushi – The first ray of sun
Project Aarushi was a grand success. The event was inaugerated by Hon Brig VSM Goswami and was presided by Dr. Vinayak More, Civil Surgeon Pune district. Mrs. Goswami and Mrs. Meenakshi Shaktavat, CEO, Dehu road also graced the occassion with their presence. A free medical checkup and treatment camp was organized as a joint venture of district hospital Pune and Disha...A new beginning. Around 13 cataract surgeries were done on the first day. Dr. Yamini Adbe, Incharge Disha, was the master of the ceremony. Around 700 patients were examined and will be investigated and treated free of cost at the district hospital. Disha took this decision to prevent disabilities due to illnesses. Since, many patients in the area are poor and live in slums, the availability of best medical facility was indeed a boon for the patients.The funds and manpower was provided by the state run District Civil Hospital and CS Dr. More. The program was concluded by the blessings and speech of Brig Goswami. The kids of Disha also turned to God and seeked His blessings for all the patients being treated in the camp.
Indradhanu – the Vision Center
Disha takes a new wing. The recently opened vision center was inaugerated by the Hon Director of Defence estates at the main buildiing of Disha. Leaving apart the multi disability health problems, Disha shows concern for every eye in pain. The center will cater services to the poor patients free of cost. Even major surgeries, IOL, Phaco, Squint, cataract, etc. surgeries will be performed free of cost.
Malnutrition - A serious issue among the differently able kids
Two cases of severe malnutrition were detected during a survey; they were not only very serious but had developed crippling diseases due to malnourishment. Disha could arrange for the free hosp stay, treatment and also the wages for the mother who attended the child in the hospital for 20 days.
Kunal – A humble Success
One registered case of Disha was operated upon for heart surgery. Chi. Kunal Mane 5 yr old child was successfully operated on 9/Dec/2012 and is back to the normal health. The funds were arranged by Disha‘s efforts from state gov. Heart surgery of an orphan child was arranged at free of cost in the B J Medical college. Sunil Waghmare was operated as case of Mitral and tricuspid valve replacement free of cost at the local B J Medical College, Infosys Building Sassoon general Hospital and is doing well. He was an orphan child and so we could arrange this surgery through collectors help and Dy. Director Health services also helped us in this case. This was done without putting any financial burden on the board.
This is an enthusiastic project of the center with high expectations and outcome. The disability and poverty makes the situation worst and so we decided to form a self help group who can stand at their own in few years and will function independently. This has persons with orthopedic disability, blinds, hearing impairments, mental retardation etc. they will work in a group. Blinds have great concentration abilities so they are on manufacturing front of designer candles, Coloring is done by the other disabled persons and whole year marketing will also be done by the persons who can speak. At present our group has taken responsibility of marketing those candles, even parents are also helping them out in our center’s outlet. The money earned will become the Principal amount for the future projects so they don’t depend on any one for financial support too. The Board has organized a safe and beautiful stall near the octroi post for the center so that they get first platform towards Khushi of self reliance. This is the aim of project Khushi too. The Civil Hospital had given an invitation to our children to have their stall at their hospital and they had kept lunch also for every child and staff.
Project Chhota Jungle
In the busy & polluted environment of the Bombay Pune road, project Chhota jungle is a refreshing initiative that not only brings a green and soothing look to Disha but is also a source of positive energy that reverberates in every corner of it. A barren land was utilized to grow trees that have different flowering seasons, so that there would be flowers on some tree all round the year and thus, chhota jungle was born. Every kid in Disha is proud to share that he has a tree named after him in the jungle. This happiness & positive energy further extends to the birds in the area as Sparrow breeding has helped the declining sparrow population to swell. Also, earth worm manure culture is user to make manure of all the biodegradable wastes in the area, helping to keep the area clean & green.
Jijivisha – A short Film
Jijivisha is a short film based on the sufferings of the differently able kids, the apathy of the society, the shortcomings of the system, the pain & agony of family members, the widespread indifference and a lot more. This film was produced & directed by Dr. Yamini Adbe. The rock stars of Disha, the kids who attend happiness classes, have acted in it. It has been nominated in the non-fiction category of the Short Film Festival of Italian Embassy.
Multifarious approach for every kid by Disha...A New Beginning
Heart surgery of an orphan child was arranged at free of cost in the B J Medical college. Sunil Waghmare was operated as case of Mitral and tricuspid valve replacement free of cost at the local B J Medical College, Infosys Building Sassoon general Hospital last week and is doing well. He was an orphan child and so we could arrange this surgery through collectors help and Dy. Director Health services also helped us in this case. This was done without putting any financial burden on the board.
Multispecialty camp for differently able kids, thanks to Civil Surgeon Pune
Disha – a new beginning had organized a camp with the help of Aundh civil hospital and civil surgeon Dr. Vinayak Moray in August by many faculty specialists like Orthopedics, pediatrician, Gynecologist, Physician, Surgeon, Physiotherapist, neurologist etc at the center. The camp was a huge success; as it was practically impossible for these underprivileged cases to reach all faculties in one go.
A Multinational company – TIBCO Software India Pvt Ltd had invited kids from Disha to their company as a part of their CSR Project. They arranged for an exhibition cum sale of the candles prepared by kids of Disha. Their employees also participated in large numbers by buying a lot of candles & encouraging the kids.
The kids of Disha were taken to the Snake Park for observing nature & animals. They had a lot of fun watching them & playing in the park. The director of snake park, Dr. Khaire, was with the kids the whole time. He told the kids about the animals & their way of life. It was a fun outing for the kids and they enjoyed a lot.
We celebrated Independence Day with all other citizens as normal persons. Our kids had painting competition, Race and lemon race at the center. Every child got a treat from the CEO Mrs. Meenakshi madam and her sister and every child got a small prize as the competition could not be judged between the various mental levels and different disabilities. Kids were given seats in VIP Row at the function organized by Cantonment Board; this is what Disha is teaching them, to live with dignity and respect.
We celebrated Rakhi with the kids and hospital staff came to tie Rakhi on their tiny hands. Traditional aarti, sweets, rakhi and taking blessings by touching the feet was taught and the kids enjoyed.
We celebrated common birthday of all the children together. A huge cake was brought, many balloons, whistles, foam machine, sweets and every possible fun we expect in a birthday bash was organized. The usual motive of happiness classes was fulfilled.
We celebrated EID and Dassera also in the similar traditional ways. Our kids are of mental retardation and these activities and parents counseling together are doing wonders indeed. Kids who were unable to hold their neck also are showing big signs of improvement. Parents counseling and therapy has practically shown changes in every child. Except 3 all can brush their teeth, toilet trained, can recognize in good touch- bad touch, identify friend and foe, they can eat at their own and tell us the taste now. They share news and learning communication.
Disha is already on its way to get Identity certificates of disabled persons and on this basis we get free bus and train passes to every registered person and also to one of the attendants with them. We have already done it for many but plan to provide these facilities to each and every registered case of Disha.
We are in the process of getting them maintenance expenditure from state government in recent future I am expecting a life time monthly allowance to each and every registered case of Disha.
We are extremely proud to share that Disha was nominated by the Southern Command for the national prize for centers dealing with differently able persons. We were among the finalist and also among the top 3 centers; however, unfortunately, we could not win. Hon Principal Director also acknowledged our efforts and we were given an award for our efforts, on Defense Estates'Day – 16th Dec 2013.