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July 2018: Happenings@Home

Here’s a powerful quote by David Foster Wallace who says, “You can be shaped, or you can be broken. There is not much in between.” It’s a fitting saying that perfectly elaborates the life experiences we share in this newsletter with you. Whether it’s our youngsters training to step out into the world on their own, or our Special Moms facing and overcoming daily challenges, there’s really not much any of us can do about life’s circumstances except to let ourselves be moulded or broken by them. Control is an illusion, but our attitude towards what happens to us, is not.

We hope you are as inspired by the people featured in this newsletter as we are. Here’s a quick roundup for May and June. Happy reading!

Please check our website for the latest news and sponsorship options.

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TRAINING & EMPOWERING YOUNGSTERS FOR COMMUNITY-BASED EMPLOYMENT

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Ankit at his office - posing for a quick shot before getting back to work!

Ankit's Journey

In May this year, Ankit - one of our youngsters, was successfully mainstreamed in the job market.

Ankit was a little more than 4 years old when he was admitted to our home in 2005. He was abandoned near Shenoy Nagar, Chennai, and rescued by ChildLine. Ankit is differently-abled. His rehabilitation involved intense medical treatment, physiotherapy, special education classes and vocational training. Ankit is now a smart young man with a keen ability to learn.

We had enrolled him at the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre (VRC) - Guindy, last year and he successfully completed a one-year Diploma in Computer Applications and Electronics. We were incredibly proud when he was selected to join M/s Kallidai Motors (a powered wheelchair manufacturing company) through a campus interview – entirely on his own merit and without recommendation! Ankit joined them on May 14th as an Assistant Electronics Technician where he assembles powered wheelchairs. He now lives on his own but comes to visit his friends at the home on weekends. Ankit is our first youngster to take up a mainstream job. He earns a salary of Rs. 6000/- a month and has bought himself a new mobile phone to stay connected. He’s expecting a raise on completing probation.

Two weeks ago we got the wonderful news that Ankit was selected to be one of 15 speakers at the 2nd Edition of KIDx ASIA/ Kidspreneur Conference, Asia's premier entrepreneurial event exclusively for Kids. Ankit delivered his first speech at the Conference on July 1st at AGNI College of Technology. It was such a proud moment for us, watching him come into his own! KIDx Asia is an Initiative by Kidspreneur, a platform where students can pitch themselves on their Business ideas in front of a wide group of elite investors, educationists, economists, bankers, entrepreneurs and associates. They come together in the spirit of entrepreneurship to connect, collaborate and create opportunities for youngsters like Ankit, all over Asia.

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Basuvaraj - spreading infectious joy while at work!

Basuvaraj Waits in the Wings…

Basuvaraj, a visually challenged youngster is currently being groomed to run his own greens shop!
He travels to the wholesale market each day to purchase fresh greens, which he sells to homes in our neighbourhood. Basuvaraj makes a good profit and his trainers are teaching him how to handle his daily financial investments. He’s aiming to go solo in around 3 months’ time.

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Colourful wire baskets woven by the girls at Prayatna

New Projects at Prayatna - Our Vocational Training Center

Prayatna’s youngsters are being prepared to take up community-based employment opportunities through our placement program. We are inducting new faculty for new career streams that would enhance their employability in the job market.

Around 35 youngsters are currently being assessed in areas such as psychological/IQ, occupational, psychosocial and physiotherapy. This is essential before we structure a specific curriculum for work readiness programs. In addition, they will be taught concepts of time, money, numbers, functional academics and soft skills related to performing their tasks.

The idea is to focus on providing training for specific high demand jobs that they can handle, so that they have the opportunity to be employed quickly and gainfully.

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PROGRAMS FOR BEDRIDDEN CHILDREN

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Pain and discomfort forgotten, they enjoyed a new and invigorating outdoor adventure!

A Day at the Beach!

15 bedridden little girls accompanied by 15 staff members spent more than 2 hours at the Marina beach on June 1st. This activity is part of our home’s rehabilitation program for bedridden children, especially as we tend to overlook their non-medical needs in the course of more critical treatments.

We believe that a bedridden child presents a wonderful opportunity for caregivers to bond in ways that the child can happily remember. Nurturing, laughing and showing love helps reduce anxiety, makes them feel safe and promotes healthy brain development in young children. Being out in the open is a wonderful way for them to experience nature, breathe better, sleep better and feel better! For bedridden children, even an hour outside can produce rapid improvements in their mental wellbeing and mood. We’ve observed that a trip like this helps open up their senses to experiences and they become less conscious of their pain. They are more cooperative, flexible and aware, and therefore more happy and less aggressive.

This month, the bed-ridden boys get a turn at the beach! “Taking bedridden children outdoors must become a regular activity,” says Jayachitra Deepak Raj – our Administrative Head. “We are planning to implement outdoor play, i.e. take them outdoors in fully equipped wheelchairs for group play to the extent that they feel comfortable. Exposure to natural sunlight and a change of scene might stimulate their senses and get them more actively involved in life.”

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A REPORT ON OUR 2ND ANNUAL SPECIAL MOM AWARD

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Mr. K Pandiarajan, MLA, Minister of Tamil Development, Culture and Archaeology, Government of Tamil Nadu honouring one of our Special Moms - Kanniselvi G from Kanchipuram

Our Special Moms steal the show!

Glad to report that our 2nd Annual Special Mom Award was well received by the public. It was held on May 13, 2018 (Mother’s Day), where we celebrated the lives of a second batch of 15 incredible mothers of special children. They received a cash award of INR 15,000/- each and a Special Lifetime Pass entitling them to free services from Sri Arunodayam.

The audience of around 700 people from across industry sectors were literally moved to tears by the unique stories of our special moms, captured on film. Many told us that they now truly understood the challenges that this marginalised community faces. Our special moms are women of integrity who choose to remain faithful to their children, refusing to abandon them despite being encouraged to do so by the communities in which they live! That they have stoically resisted pressure and trodden a new path toward self-discovery and commitment speaks of their calibre. Our award strives to recognize such mothers for their progressive abilities, for making a significant impact in the lives of their children, and for demonstrating an ability to be positive role models of parenthood in their communities.

Our Chief Guest, Mr. Pandiarajan – MLA and Minister of Tamil Development, Culture and Archaeology, his wife Mrs. Latha Pandiarajan – Director of Ma Foi Strategic Consultants, Mr. Murali Mohan – Associate Vice President Operations, LogixHealth Solutions, Mr. Joseph Ravi – District Differently Abled Welfare Officer (DDAWO), Chennai, and Mrs. Sheeba – Speech Therapist & Audiologist, State Resource Training Center (SRTC) together with Sri Arunodayam’s long-standing donors, gave away the prizes.

For a complete report on the event, the mothers’ stories and films, visit: https://sriarunodayam.org/special-mom-award-2018-post-event/

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More shots of Ankit and Basuvaraj

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Some of Prayatna's products on display at its Gift Shop

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Bedridden children have a fun time at the beach!

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Glimpses of our 2nd Annual Special Mom Awards

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Want to donate to any of our projects? Click here.

Until our next update, stay blessed!

Sri Arunodayam is a secular organization with zero tolerance for discrimination against children, whether on the basis of caste, creed, religion, status, color, or gender orientation.

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Sri Arunodayam Charitable Trust

Tel: 91-44-26511450 / 803; Mobile: 91-9444915803; Email: iyyappan@sriarunodayam.org

https://sriarunodayam.org/

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