Unanimous Growth

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Ekjaa Campus Leaders at NSIT – Mayank Jain & Anshul Chauhan

“If every child matters, every child has the right to a good start in life. If every child
matters, every child has the right to be included. And that is so important for children
with special needs.”-Cherie Blair

While volunteering with Ekjaa, we partnered with SAMADHAN, a NGO based in Delhi, with the aim of establishing infrastructure of accessible services for persons with intellectual disability, making local community partner and leading to holistic society. Our aim was to do the pre-disbursal monitoring for the project; we took up with NGO on behalf of Ekjaa. We visited their centre located in Dakshinpuri, a resettlement colony based in Delhi. The centre is located in the urban slum, where locallites have perception of the centre as ASYLUM for KIDS. Our purpose of visiting was to have communication with end beneficiaries, the NGO team and to look the functioning of work and know about their expectation from us.

The centre is a two-storeyed building, having a paediatric clinic, a pre-school classroom, early intervention room in which kids (and their mothers) identified with symptoms of disability and developmental delay plays and have rehabilitative measures; and a Self-Help Group, which involves mothers of disabled kids with Samadhan and help in making them self-reliant.

When we reached at the centre, we first visited the Early Intervention Centre, where kids, their mothers and trainer were waiting for us and regular therapy were going. The kids we met there were of age group of 1-5, identified with some disability or developmental delay. The trainer, Ms. Anita Rawat, is working since 23 years with small children there and told us about the different kids
she has met till date and how have they improved gradually. She was really enjoying her work in training mothers and has fun learning with kids. We talked to some mothers and shaken hands with young ones, called their names and spent some time with them. We saw some smiling faces around us. It helped me understand some new things about differently-abled kids.After that we visited their Inclusive Education Pre-School Programme in which small kids (normal as well as differently-abled were present). They have 20 kids in the class, 14 normal and 6 disabled, suffering from speech problem, down-syndrome. The kids have morning assembly, PT, taught about discipline, good habits and discipline, play games, learn alphabets and do activities which make
them identify things around them. The teachers have huge task of convincing the parents of normal children. The active kids in the class help in growth of differently-abled kids as they try to learn and copy them. We talked to 5-6 kids and also played fun activities with them.

Then we met the Self-Help Group working there, in which, mothers and their child (who were part of SAMADHAN in 80’s and 90’s)are involved in making beautiful craft work though paper mashing, which are sold through some stalls and act as a source of income; improving the economic status of women. We talked to aunties there, and saw happiness on their faces when they were telling about
their long association with SAMADHAN.

We also had talk with local coordinator from the community as well as other incharges from NGO’s who told us about the effort put in establishing such an organisation, the problems faced, the impact generated and their expectations. The talk with the NGO’s director was very encouraging. We talked about Ekjaa and Samadhan. She asked us about background, our plans, and then told about the genesis of SAMADHAN. She had lot of expectations from today’s youth and admires the fact that students like us are taking initiatives in such fields. I could see hope and happiness in their eyes.

It gives us immense satisfaction to contribute to the cause Samadhan is engaged in. In this world one can find many people working hard for their well being but unfortunately there are only a few who think about the less privileged ones.  Seeing the plight of disabled children while doing the monitoring at the campus was really a touching experience. It is rightly said that to analyse somebody’s situation, first put yourself in their shoes, analyse the world from their perspective.

There were people who came to samadhan at a very early age and they have spent more than 25 years in the NGO. Atleast we should do our part so that we can bring a slight ray of happiness in their lives. Hope we will be successful and Make A Difference .


Ekjaa Campus Leader Experience – IIT Mumbai, Aditi & Suyash

While doing my B.Tech @ Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, one very good thing that happened to me was that I started working with Ekjaa. I joined Ekjaa as a Campus Leader for IIT Bombay. It is a new NGO which helps smallers NGOs in raising funds and providing social and humanitarian support.

After a brief interview at McDonals in Andheri, I took my responsibility in October ‘2011 and soon things started getting out of my hand. As one of the first ECLs in Ekjaa, I found the task immensely confusing regarding what output I could provide to Ekjaa and what learning I could cultivate for myself. Harsha, the founder of Ekjaa, was very helpful in provding me all kinds of support and motivating me even when I gave awful suggestions. The first few weeks turned out to be totally chaotic amidst my exams and my cluelessness regarding what to do with the Ekjaa chapter.

After about a month and a half of mindless blabber and dreaming, I realised that I need to streamline my approach and build a consolidated program. After a few days of excercise on various programs running on our campus, I concluded that I needed to make an Internship program for Ekjaa. I set things into motion and with a week, I had 30 very curious and enthusiastic students who had volunteered to work on projects with Ekjaa.

It was this moment that I reognised the need of an additional hand. My good friend Suyash had shown enthusiasm to work with Ekjaa earlier and was a brilliant mind! So, I quickly asked him to jump in as another ECL and with this, we began our Ekjaa journey! It was December, and our days got shorter as most of our time went into scheduling tasks, assessing reports, reminders to absentees and attending calls from inquizitive interns. But wasn’t it what we chose ourselves?

As mentors of 10 immensely thoughtfull and wonderful projects, I and Suyash got enlightened to many ponderable things ourselves. When we ended our internship program in January and had a look at the final reports, it surprised us as much as it surprised the Ekjaa team. We took great pleasure in sending the reports to Ekjaa and found ourselves one step ahead too!

The Ekjaa certificate distribution ceremony took place this April, followed by an amazing treat by Harsha at a popular Chinese restaurant. We discussed our future plans and were pretty inspired by what Harsha had to say about what she wanted to do in life! That dinner ended with me and Suyash going back to IIT in an auto with a lot of things to talk about. We found ours

elves much more inspired, and above all, more confident in believing what we felt for, and working towards it.

Our time as ECLs of Ekjaa is over now, but we will never forget the beautiful journey, and a much more beautiful end. Wait if  Today, I have my own social entrepreneurship and volunteering organization running and Suyash is working on another organization which aims at promoting CSRs. Our experiences with Ekjaa have insipired us and Harsha is now amongst those people we look upto.or it, I havn’t told you about the end as yet. 🙂

We will always value the Ekjaa Campus Leader program and hope that the new set of ECLs will take forward what we started.

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