In late August, we were visited by a couple with a 6 year old son with brain damage due to being born with hypoglecemia, which was aggravated by an attack of jaundice soon after birth and hence made the child physically disabled with a moderate intellectual disability . Fortunately, his hearing is normal and he does have the potential for speech. However, the parents had done the usual rounds of visiting the priest at the temple, the Christiain priest in a church, and the Mullah in a nearby mosque. When no miracles happened and the child was deteriorating, they finally found their way to SAMADHAN and our ealy intervention unit. We did an assessment and have referred him to the PT, who says he will be able to walk given regular PT sessions, and the speech therapist, who also says his speech can be improved with time .We have also admitted him into our education unit.
We thought it worth sharing because firstly it shows how many families here are still bound by superstition and do the rounds of so called healers and so called doctors (who promise miracles and only when they come to a facility like ours do they realize that they wasted valuable time).The happy ending is that the father is now an advocate for us and has taken on the job of doing promotional work for us and our services by talking to as many people as he can. He works as a driver for the CEO of a large multinational company and so gets to interact with a lot of people in the company and the drivers (chauffers ) who drive the big bosses around.
In the months of January till end August our survey workers have visited approximnately 1544 households and at each house they spend about half an hour each since it is not only documenting whether their is a child with disability in the family but also talking about SAMADHDAN and the services we offer, some counselling and patient listening to their stories of how they cope with poverty and disability. 34 children with various disabilities have visited us so far as a result of the survey apart from children without a disability but who come in for health check ups.
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