146th recipient of help (Walking aid):
Sachin ABC is 6. He has CP – Cerebral Palsy, so is a ‘special’ child, and an orphan.
Sachin ABC travels in an autorikshaw to school, ADAPT at Bandra west, from an orphanage in Chembur. Six children, just like him, having nearly similar challenges and privileges, having CP and all orphans, travel with their caretaker, Mrs Priyanka Jagtap, a dedicated soul.
Dedicated to their care since many years and has seen them through their fears and tears. I spoke in length to her, as the child was incapable of clear-speech and comprehension.
Mrs Priyanka Jagtap said to me, “…. Sachin was two or three days young, when he was found on the street side, abandoned. We do not know if his condition, of the damage in part of his brain, CP, is since birth or then maybe he got a brain injury when he was abandoned by his parent/mother by the way-side.
We have no clue. All we know is that we have to provide him, abandoned children, shelter and an ‘upbringing’ when the Police or the Courts direct such abandoned living souls to us…. Them having CP is incidental. All orphans mean equally to us.”
CP children, their bodies (part of the brain, I mean) may be injured, but their souls are intact, I thought, hearing this passionate social worker cum mother and father speak about these special children that she mentors as her dharma, her duty.
She continued, “… Sachin is more capable than many others around him who have CP. He can comprehend some things we say to him, and he is good in Maths. He helps those around him, he in fact volunteers to help those even less able and less capable than him. That much he understands.”
Then Mrs Jagtap smiled. And, my lips parted too, for the first time, in a smile. Because, often, when we visit these schools, special ones, we forget to smile thinking of their plight. However, I can assure you, I promise you, these children smile and laugh more than what we ‘normal’ people do. Seriously, come along with me someday and feel their smiles light up your own.
She continued, “… Sachin is quite able, actually, however, he cannot walk without aid. (His legs are more damaged than his brain I thought). So we need your help to buy a walking aid for him, so that his legs can experience ‘walking’ and get stronger, however long and many years it will take. He is very alert compared to the others. If something goes missing in class, he can detect it and point it out to his teachers. His best friend in school is a girl (Pallavi) who is 7 and her fingers are too weak to hold anything. Pallavi needs help to be fed.
When little Sachin arrives to school, he will first find out how little Pallavi is, has she brought her food tiffin, and even want to see her.”
Such a cute love story, I thought with a huge smile.
I found out something from their caretaker Mrs Jagtap that I had not known before. She said to me, “These children do not consider themselves as ‘handicapped’. In fact, back home in their orphanage, these special children are not kept segregated from the .normal’ orphans. Because, they will learn to be as normal as possible only if they grow up closely around normal children.
Because they pick up everything normal from those normal kids. If we segregate them, their growth towards normalcy will be nearly impossible.”
Children mirror each other. More than us adults. I think. Hence the CP children must be surrounded by normal children during their formative years at least so that they mirror them and thus strive to do, act, be, and perform, nearly like them. In that lies their better growth. Because they do not know what ‘handicapped’ or ‘physically challenged’ ‘less-abled’ means. It’s their opportunity to aspire to behave like their normal counterparts.
It also reminded me of what my Dad would tell me, “Aspire and dream for things. But also to be with people who know more than you. Let not your ego come in the way of being with more knowledgeable, smarter, more mature and intelligent people and true achievers even if they criticise you about something truly criticisable.”
And, hang with good books. I say. They are giving and not judgmental, even though we judge them, review them, star-rating them. They don’t do that to us. 🙂
Maybe sometimes, our ego or immaturity makes us aspire to be with only those who will flatter us or and not criticize us. That, would be so sad, for us, and more for those who choose to suck-up to us or follow us blindly or with blinkers/blinders on. :p 🙂 Some people, the sensible ones, well, they also keep a dog. Dogs are so dam loving, so dam loveable, and not critical. 😉 :)))
Thank you Sarraf Akanksha for purchasing this walking aid for Sachin. We accepted no contribution from the orphanage towards this humble purchase. It was her pleasure to pay the entire cost of the Walking aid for Sachin.
Btw, I gave Sachin the surname ABC. Because, orphans cannot have a surname, ever thought about that?,until they get adopted. Let’s hope he gains one someday.
(For those who have not read the 142nd post, read on to know more about the dedicated caretaker, Mrs Priyanka Jagtap … :
Munna’s caretaker, Mrs Priyanka Jagtap, to me seemed to be someone who was volunteering at the Orphanage; so I asked her, what made her choose this as her profession, looking after these special, CP, children, that too orphans. They need so much more love, compassion, attention, patience than able bodied and able minded children.
Mrs Jagtap told me, “When I was pregnant with my second child, our doctor suspected my child may be born with a defect, like CP. We were very worried. My husband told me to keep the faith all will be well. My child was born normal.
That is when I decided, if God has been kind to me, saved me from having a CP child, I must look after CP children, especially those who have no parents. I am bringing up my children with proper education and all, so I felt I must do something for orphans and particularly those who have CP.
If we able people do not look after orphans who have CP, who else will? And then, someone has to do it. Because even these CP orphans deserve to have parents. If my children can have parents why these CP special children should not have one? So I have dedicated my life to their care”
As I watched a smiling Munna walk away with the aid of his brand new Walker, however slow he walked, he walked without human support. When dealing with a disability, you look for things to hold onto. Munna holds on to a Walker to deal with his own.
For Mrs Jagtap, it is gratitude she holds on to, to be able to serve special and orphaned children. The service Mrs Jagtap provides to these CP orphans is her gift for dealing with the gift of having ‘normal’ able children. – Rakesh.)
Our recipients of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1
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