Catalysts for Social Action

We work towards holistic care and optimum rehabilitation outcomes for every orphaned child. We promote, support, advocate and act as Catalysts to achieve these objectives. We are an unstoppable force inspiring and channelizing action to bring about sustainable social change.
May 28, 2014

Sakshi's loving family

Sakshi
Sakshi's loving family

A new born female baby was admitted in adoption agency from Odisha because of her mothers inability to keep the baby with her. By the time she was declared legally free for adoption the baby was 6 months old. Catalysts for Social Action (CSA) being associateed with the this adoption agency helped them to upgrade the living condition of the children in various ways. At the same time the family mentioned below approached and we refer them to this six months old.

Neelakantan P. and Sindhu Neelakantan from Chennai, Tamilanadu Adopted baby Sakshi from Orissa. They have expressed their experience and feelings in belwo wright up.

Does one need to be related by blood or marriage to another to give unconditional love and affection? We learnt that the answer to that question is a resounding- NO. And we are proud that our daughter, Sakshi taught us that. It had been the childhood desires of my husband, Neelakantan and I, to adopt a child when we grow up. Very soon after our engagement we learnt that we had this common desire and it strengthened our bond.

Our son, Saket was born in May 2011 and when he completed 6 months, we decided to commence the process to adopt a baby girl, as we expected some administrative delay. We contacted a few organizations involved in adoption in Tamil Nadu. Almost all of them refused us point blank as we already had a biological child. A few asked us to leave our details, which they would, waitlist and asked us to contact after a few months. But they also asked us not to have any expectations of getting a child in the immediate future. Nevertheless, when we returned to them almost 14 months later, we had moved from 95 down to 250 in the waiting list, as the childless couples were always placed above the others.

Just as we were wondering whether we had to wait indefinitely for our daughter, we learnt from a common friend, that Mrs. Subhasri Sankar had adopted a child from Odisha through CSA. It is relevant to point out here that some friends and relatives were initially skeptical about adopting from outside the state saying that the child’s features would be a giveaway and advised us against it. Mrs. Subhasri was however categorical and told us how her child had integrated in the family within a few weeks and we decided to go ahead. Without losing any time, we approached CSA. We were floored by their proactive and prompt response and suddenly, we found the whole process shifting to top-gear.

Words cannot express in adequate measure our gratitude, for the support rendered by CSA, their staff, Ms. Lucy Mathews, Ms. Bharti Dasgupta and Mr. Anupam Subhadarshan who interacted with us and they virtually held our hand and took us through the entire process. Within a couple of weeks of contacting CSA, we found ourselves at the Sishu Bhavan of Bapuji Sevashram at Chandipur near Balasore. As its secretary, Mr. Gaurachandra Khamhari placed the nearly 7 months old Supreeti in our hands (we have since renamed her Sakshi), we realized that we were indeed holding our daughter. Saket was beaming with pride as he held his sister for the first time. Sakshi all the while was smiling and enjoying.
After finishing the preliminary documentation, we returned to our hotel room for the night. The next morning, we took her to a local hospital for medical examination. A housemother from the Sishu Bhavan accompanied us for the medical examinations. Sakshi was inconsolable from the moment the regular housemother of Sishu Bhavan was replaced midway by another housemother, Ms. Mamta, who usually took care of the bigger children in the Ashram. We were wondering how we will bring Sakshi all the way to Chennai if she was going to cry like this all the while.

But quite magically, all the crying stopped when Ms. Mamta handed Sakshi over to me for a brief while. Sakshi was comfortable with Neelakantan, Saket and I and surprisingly she refused to go back to Ms.Mamta. Mamta kept remarking for the rest of the day that Sakshi had identified her parents.

With all the medical examination and the foster agreement formalities completed, we took Sakshi back to the Sishu Bhavan from the Ashram’s office for bidding goodbye to those who had taken care of our daughter, for us all these months. There were tears all around. We felt sad for causing this pain and resolved to recompense all this by loving Sakshi more than all of them put together.

Now 6 months later, Sakshi has adjusted very well with all in our extended family. There are a lot of people who comment that she resembles Neelakantan and Saket a lot. Neelakantan calls it “Environmental Genetics” and propounds the theory that the child takes the features of her adoptive family.

which one is adopted?
which one is adopted?

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May 28, 2014

WORKSHOP FOR CHILDCARE WORKERS AT ORPHANAGE

Child care staff training
Child care staff training

 Hi Freinds,

Here we are with a new report to upadate you all with our activities. As you know We work with children in need of care and protection and focus majorly on their well-being, care & protection. However, not much attention is given to the people who work with these children day in or day out. In a regular family setting, dealing with 1 child or 2 children on a daily basis can be a daunting task filled with moments of joy, frustration, excitement, dejection etc. Imagine dealing with 20-25 or even higher no. of kids bursting with energy on a daily basis in an orphanage setting - mind boggling and huge! Staff and caretakers at orphanages are such a major influence on the children and have a big impact on the way a child's future shapes up in the orphanage. Being with so many children everyday coupled with long working hours, can sometimes stress childcare workers & unfortunately children end up bearing the brunt of their stress & frustration. This can of course be detrimental and confusing to children. Therefore, it became increasingly evident that as much as we support the well-being of children in orphanages, we must work with orphanage staff too to address their concerns, stress management, provide them with ways & means of dealing with children in a positive & constructive manner and understanding children, their nature and bringing out the best in children. With this aim, CSA organized workshops for childcare workers and staff who work with children in orphanages we support. We roped in child specialists / councellors to conduct these workshops which were interactive in nature and provided for a lot of dialogue between staff and resource trainer. Various participatary activities like role play, Case studies etc. made it more interactive and participatary. Participants were handed 'Completion Certificates' at the end of the workshop. Some testimonials from
participants –

We received good response in terms of attendance and positive feedback from staff regarding the way the workshops were conducted. Here are few feedbacks from the participants.

1. "The workshop was helpful; some children get angry often & do not listen to us. We keep wondering why? But after interacting with the resource person, we understand
that child may be facing a psychological problem. Now we are planning to take the child to a psychologist and seek medical help. "

2. “The training was needed for our staff. This is the 1st time we were able to attend a session like this with regards to how to behave with children. Now we can understand some of our mistakes which we'll try to rectify going forward."

3. "Thanks to CSA for organising this training. We'll surely put to use the knowledge received at the workshop in our day to day work. "

4. "This was a wonderful session & we look forward to future workshops”

Participant's  response made us understand that we need to have such warkshops frequently, to develop child friendly attitude towards children coming from various backgraound.

Child care staff training
Child care staff training
Participants received certificates
Participants received certificates

Links:

Feb 28, 2014

I want to stand on my feet.....

Girls at Tailoring class
Girls at Tailoring class

Being in a social work profession I often listen to stories of the inmate who come and stay in children's Home. Especially young girls aged 16 to 18 have confessed that they want to share their feelings and talk to someone….. Whenever possible I like to spare time talking with them.

Last week I met Riya name changed (17 yrs. ) old girl, I tried talking to her and came to know that she has very calm and quite personality with big expressive eyes. She came in the children home 9 months back. Her brother fell down when she was babysitting him. She was brutally bitten by her father, which led her to launch complain in police station and Police brought her to the children's home in Mumbai. She was horrified with what had happen with her, new atmosphere new people made her shyer and introvert moreover her relatives made her realize that what she did was very wrong. Being a girl of this family she should have thought about the family more than herself. I made her understand that she has full right to raise her voice against any atrocity in her life.

She has nothing to do after coming to shildren's home, as she had left her schooling 4 yrs. back. Now the only hope in her life was the tailoring class which is started by CSA in this Home. She attends this class regularly and even does the practice after the class is over. She has done with the basic course of 3 months and now is doing Advance course of tailoring. Simultaneously she is also learning hand embroidery skills.She strted enjoing this creative work and also could mix with other inmates.

To be self reliant is her dream now and so she doesn’t want to go back to her home. Looking at the performance of the girls enrolled for tailoring class, CSA have decided to enroll 5 such a girls for Fashion Designing course. Riya is one of such a girl. This is again an encouragement for other girls to do well and a proud feeling for CSA that their small effort is a life changing incident for the girls like Riya.

Tailoring class instructor helping them
Tailoring class instructor helping them
Frocks are ready
Frocks are ready

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