Video Editor: Mohd. Irshad Alam
Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Intellectual disability is among most stigmatised disability in our country today. Over two lakh children suffer from intellectual disabilities in Delhi and NCR alone. Parents not only have to deal with the medical needs of their children but also the gazing eyes of society.
In 2002, our child, Aranya was diagnosed with autism, a neuro-developmental disorder take makes it difficult for a child to communicate verbally or interact socially. We had no clue how to deal with the situation. Our life changed dramatically.
We couldn’t go to our friends’ and relatives’ because we felt it could be awkward and embarrassing for us.
A combination of self-fear and social stigma isolated us. As Aranya was growing up, life was becoming more and more challenging.
He was getting thrown out of schools one after another, and because of this upheaval, was unable to manage my corporate job.
In 2009, I decided to quit my job as a banker and decided to set up an NGO called PORDAC (Protection of the Rights of Differently Abled Children), under which we opened Parivartan Special School.
The Parivartan School caters to about 55 children with various intellectual disabilities like autism, down syndrome, mental retardation, cerebral palsy et al.
Our children have different ways of communicating ie through their skills.
From painting to playing the keyboard and guitar, defying all odds, our kids have gone on to win multiple awards.
Dhruv Tikku’s painting
(Photo Courtesy: Manjir Gupta)
“Dhruv is a brilliant painter. He loves to paint and he paints paint day in and day out. He has participated in multiple exhibitions and sold many paintings and has won multiple awards.”Kalpana Tikku, Mother of Dhruv Tikku
Like Dhruv, Shreyan is an excellent keyboard player, and Aranya has a knack for words. Every child has some talent. The onus is on us to find in these talents.
Through Parivartan, we are trying to create an environment where we can hone their talents into employable skills. We don’t expect help for them out of pity, we want everyone to help because they have abilities and they can work.
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