A Week Away: Opening our eyes

There is a social stigma connected to physically and mentally challenged children in the society. They are not included in the society, left out and are often not cared for. In India this gets even worse, apart from the child, the family also suffers when a child which such incapabilities or disorders is born. They feel ashamed and often hide their children from others or kill them at a young age. 

Prabhat is an organisation which works for the upliftment of such children, giving them special education and other services so that they fit in society, and lead a normal life. 

We visited Prabhat centre as a part of our community engagement exposure tour. At the centre, we were enthusiastically greeted by our host, director of Prabhat, and the children studying there. It felt good to see their enthusiasm and happiness. 

In Prabhat, we also met Muskan’s father. Muskan is a mentally and physically challenged 12-year-old girl, who used to study at Prabhat but has now joined a normal school where she had earlier been rejected. He was very happy with Prabhat’s services, for they were able to take care of his daughter while he went for work.

After the Prabhat centre, we went to the slums where Prabhat’s mobile nursing team works for the children who can’t come to the Prabhat centre.

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I had seen slums in movies before but this was the first time I had actually been in one

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We were at 5-year-old Rehan’s house, who had been diagnosed as mentally and physically ill. He was the third of the three children in his family. His father was an informal worker while his mother was a housewife. He could not sit or walk like other children his age.

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Jagruti Desai has been working for Prabhat as a nurse since 2 years, after her own daughter was diagnosed as mentally ill.

We also, got the opportunity to play and interact with the children.

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She came to Prabhat diagnosed as mentally ill but now at the age of 19 she is married and works from home with her mother-in-law.

This trip opened our eyes to the conditions of mentally and physically challenged children to which we were earlier oblivious to, living in the Woodstock bubble. While it left us awestruck, it also showed us a ray of hope that even though they are considered “different” , with proper care and help, they can also lead a normal healthy life.

Photos by Faisal Qadir

 

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