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March 2018: Happenings@Home

We’ve been preparing for a couple of important events – Founder’s Day and World Down Syndrome Day, and last month we observed World Day of Social Justice which fell on February 20th. It’s a day when we took time to observe, but more importantly - discern what our own personal position and responsibility would entail in terms of upholding social justice in our home, workplace, community and society.

More on this as we go along, but first here’s a quick roundup for January and February, which we hope you enjoy reading!

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

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ENJOYING THE DEEPER SIGNIFICANCE OF PONGAL

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The pot boiling ceremony at Pongal

Our children eagerly anticipate the Pongal holidays because they know they are in for 4 days of absolute fun and extraordinary food! Pongal is the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu celebrated in January, and is all about being thankful to Mother Nature. This was an occasion to help the children understand a crucial life lesson – the power of gratefulness.

There’s nothing more precious than those 3 simple words we ourselves were taught when we were children – “Please”, “Thank You”, and “Sorry” - magical words that make people feel acknowledged, help strengthen bonds and even mend strained relationships. At Pongal we practiced thankfulness and witnessed the enormous blessings that accompany a grateful spirit.

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PRAYATNA PRODUCTS - A HIT AT PRATIBIMP!

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Prayatna products on display at Pratibimp before they were sold out!

We showcased Prayatna’s products (our vocational training center) at Pratibimp - the Annual marketing and networking event for partner organisations of Rangoonwala Foundation India Trust (RFIT), at Mumbai in the week of February 5th to 9th.

The products sold like hot cakes, much to our delight! It was true validation of the incredible efforts of our young lads.

Prayatna was launched in 2012, to provide our home’s young intellectually challenged adults with skills to sustain a trade. They are now proficient in book binding, paper bag, envelope, candle, diya and jewellery making, cattle rearing and organic farming. These activities are a form of occupational therapy, helping them develop the necessary social skills to become productive citizens of society. Income generated through the sale of Prayatna products helps in the home’s many rehabilitation programs.

Prayatna products are great value for money! They are ideal as corporate gifts or just as high utility mementos that can be given out at events. If interested, please call on 9962280036 or 9444915803. Visit https://sriarunodayam.org/prayatna/

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A DATE WITH THE DEAD!**

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Volunteers and 15 cemetery workers and their families in fellowship before dinner

Sounds ominous? But not for those that attended. We were co-partners with iVolunteer in a unique program that highlighted 'behind the scenes' services provided by burial ground workers who remain an unappreciated lot. These workers perform a very important service to society, and the program sought to connect with them to let them know that they are appreciated.

Around 35 volunteers participated in a walk from Padi Flyover to the Villivakkam burial ground on February 17th at 5.00 pm to spread awareness on the daily challenges faced by the workers and their families. We felicitated 15 cemetery workers and their families who were ‘moved’ by this simple gesture of an evening of appreciation, fellowship and dinner.

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CELEBRATING 16 YEARS OF SERVICE TO PRECIOUS CHILDREN

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Dressed in vibrant colours, the children pose for a quick photograph

February 26th was Founder’s Day when we closed our 16th and commenced our 17th year of service. We kept up the celebrations on March 3rd so that all the home’s well-wishers could attend a unique celebratory program that was planned by the staff and children.

Our home was abuzz with activity as both teachers and children practiced for a mega cultural show with several thematic skits, dances, a fancy dress show portraying beautiful traditional costumes from States across the country, and a sporting event!

The event was opened by our Special Guests of Honor, Dr. S. Selvakumar – Assistant Commissioner of Police, and Mrs. Saranya Jaikumar - Director, Jeppiaar Cements Pvt Ltd. The children enjoyed every minute of the day and received several prizes. The entire group of guests, staff and children enjoyed a sumptuous lunch which ended the day’s activities.

Thank you friends and supporters for being there and encouraging us every step of the way! As we commence our 17th year, we look forward to having you play a more integral part in our home and its programs.

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SRI ARUNODAYAM RECOGNIZED AS A 'TOP-RANKED' ORGANIZATION

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Recognitions from GlobalGiving Foundation, USA

Sri Arunodayam has been recognized by GlobalGiving Foundation, USA as a Top-Ranked organization, post a site visit and submitting to exacting vetting processes.

It is a great honor to be associated with GlobalGiving - one of the highest rated charity platforms by Charity Navigator. GlobalGiving processes are highly transparent and being a vetted partner of this organization is truly an honor for us.

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SATISH'S STORY

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Holding the bag he made entirely on his own!

Satish appears to remember his father, an auto rickshaw driver, who abandoned him at the Mylapore Railway Station on the 2nd of June 2005 when he was just 12 years old. He remembers obediently waiting at the spot his father instructed him to stay at. Sadly, the man never returned to claim Satish, and Don Bosco Anbu Illam rescued him and sent him to us. Understandably, the child was hurt and withdrawn and it took us a while to coax him out of his gloom and get him interested in the world around him.

Satish lives with mild intellectual disability and endures regular bouts of fits. Silent by nature, he appears to have finally found himself. He was a top student in our Special Education program and became a top student at Prayatna – our vocational training center, where he finally blossomed into the calm and capable young man that he is today. All of 24, and a perfectionist, Satish is our top performer at Prayatna where he has pretty much mastered almost all the vocational activities! From making candles to painting diyas to binding books to neatly wrapping products… no one beats Satish yet! On the personal front, he is extremely finicky about cleanliness and loves to keep himself scrupulously clean as well as his work station and any personal areas that are his favourite haunts. Satish is also a recognized sportsman in running and long jump. He is a State player recognized by the District Differently Abled Welfare Office (DDAWO).

We are incredibly proud of this young man who chose not to let his past overshadow his life. It’s not that he’s forgotten the sad incident but that he bears his sorrow with dignity and calm acceptance and continues to put his best foot forward each day. This is a beautiful life from which we can learn much!

Children are a priceless gift. They aren’t given to us because we are special or entitled, but because they can make our lives special as we choose to receive and love them. If you are interested in making a difference in the life of a young lad like Satish, please call our office and schedule a visit. There are 109 children like him whose lives can be transformed with a little help!

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WORLD DAY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE

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Falling on February 20th, this is a day when many countries present their plans for greater social justice by tackling social development issues like poverty, exclusion and unemployment. But, as recognized by the World Summit, social development can become a reality only when justice, equality, solidarity and harmony constitute the fundamental values on which a society is built.

To put it simply, no matter how many plans we make concerning social development, they ring hollow without an understanding of the basic concept of ‘human dignity’ – which lies at the core of all development, whether economic, social, spiritual or psychological. When little children’s constitutional freedoms are trampled upon, we can never say that we uphold the principles of social justice.

We at Sri Arunodayam, continue to do our bit as we champion the rights of defenceless, vulnerable children. To us, advancing social justice means removing barriers that children face on account of gender, race, caste, creed/religion, culture or disability. We continue to address inequalities as we encounter them, working to establish and uphold their rights, which we believe, is the only way towards building a balanced, inclusive and moral society.

After all, a society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest and most vulnerable members.

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Prayatna products - true value for money!

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Glimpses of Founder's Day activities

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Celebrating birthdays and the gift of life!

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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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