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Oct 10, 2017

All it takes is a little Love!

Sudharshan with his physiotherapist
Sudharshan with his physiotherapist

At Sri Arunodayam, each child has a story to tell, and this is Sudharshan’s.

Abandoned by his parents in 2014, Sudarshan was found on the streets of Trichy, a metropolitan city in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. He was only 9 months old at the time.

Sudharshan’s uniqueness

Sudharshan was rescued by ChildLine volunteers who contacted several organizations, but none would accept him.  He finally came to Sri Arunodayam in great need of medical care. A psychological evaluation revealed that he lived with intellectual disability.  But Sudarshan also has a unique problem. He is a hermaphrodite – more commonly known as an intersex person, because he has both male and female genitalia. This condition occurs approximately once in every 4,500 births where a baby seems to have a mixture of both female and male parts.

The causes of ambiguous genitalia include genetic variations, and hormonal imbalances and malformations of the fetal tissues that are supposed to evolve into genitals.

Taking up the challenge

To be honest, we were perplexed because we had never faced a challenge of this kind. But after consulting some of the best medical minds in the city, we learnt to deal with the situation and Sudarshan has happily settled in with his caregivers.

Sudharshan was completely immobile at the time of admission. He was bedridden for a good while but we slowly coaxed him into an early intervention program which involved regular physiotherapy, special education and sensory integration exercises. Today, Sudarshan can walk with assistance and loves doing his exercises. We are particularly thrilled because he is beginning to communicate – although, in monosyllables. He mingles with the other children and his progress is very promising.

Sudarshan is one of 110 children at Sri Arunodayam where 16% are mildly challenged, 23% are moderately challenged, 38% are severely challenged, 19% are profoundly challenged, 2% are spastic, and 2% are visually challenged.

Sri Arunodayam is a secular organization with zero tolerance for discrimination against children, whether on the basis of religion, caste, status, or gender orientation. 

Founder - Iyyappan carrying Sudharshan
Founder - Iyyappan carrying Sudharshan
Sudharshan attending class
Sudharshan attending class
Sep 11, 2017

A great salute to our special educators

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you from the Special Children of Sri Arunodayam, 

We hope you and your family are doing well. We continue to wish and pray for your well- being and good health. All the children and the caregivers are doing well. I am very happy to share that we had celebrated teacher's day at Sri Arundayam. Special Educator's roles are vital in the process of rehabilitaion of children with special needs. Our great salute to our special educators and their dedications on this special occasions. 

At Sri Arunodayam, we leave no stone unturned to recognize and reward our staff, whoever care for the destitute, mentally challenged children, without room for complacency.

Our Teachers, unlike their counterparts in academia, have to impart special education to children who are gifted differently, unlike normal children.  We are proud to have such Teachers in our Home who endure, day in and day out, with ‘never ever give up’ attitude with a single- minded focus on the welfare of the said children.

It is our duty to encourage and reward their relentless contributions which is why we conduct ‘Annual Teachers Day Celebrations’. 

This year, Teachers Day Celebrations, was held at our Boys Home. The highlight this time was that our entire Team of Teachers participated whole-heartedly with enthusiasm and thoroughly enjoyed the event. Events included singing, dancing, speech contest, debate and so on.

The topic debated in the debate was ‘who play vital role in children’s growth – Teachers or Parents’. The Participants debated very well and their strong arguments made it difficult for the judges to deliver the verdict. The verdict was in favour of both Parents and Teachers who are like two sides of a coin, both indispensable.

Gifts were distributed to the winners and snacks to all the participants and audience.

We are confident that the next such Occasion will be even a grander event!!

Sep 11, 2017

Project Closure Report - Special MOM Award 2017

Dear Sir / Madam, 

Greetings to you from Sri Arunodayam!

We hope you are doing well. We are happy to share this report with you. Thank you so much for your help and support. This project would not have been successful without your support. 

Celebrating Mother’s Day - May 14, 2017 in a unique way, Sri Arunodayam honored 15 mothers of ‘special’ children for their incredible courage and for not taking the easy way out by abandoning their children. The mothers received a cash award and a special lifetime pass to free services from Sri Arunodayam, in a ceremony held at New Woodlands Hotel, Chennai.

The Director of Karur Vysya Bank and an eminent Gynaecologist who is the President of the Tamil Nadu Woman Doctors Association together with Sri Arunodayam’s benefactors gave away the award and a host of other prizes to the 15 finalists.

Before the event, the doctor conducted a closed-door workshop for the 15 special moms who were very happy for the opportunity to connect with such eminent faculty and freely discuss their personal health issues. More workshops and sessions on new caregiving techniques, mental health, stress control, special education, and other hot topics are being scheduled by Sri Arunodayam for the finalists, in the coming months.

The mothers, their special children and around 150 of their family members enjoyed a wonderful evening together with Sri Arunodayam staff and children, donors, benefactors and a large crowd of well-wishers. The program commenced with 5 ladies lighting the lamp.

Each mother’s story, captured on film and presented at the time of the awards, moved the audience to tears as everyone present witnessed the true essence of motherhood brought to life through hardship. The struggles and the achievements of both the mothers and their children clearly showed them to be people of incredible strength and positivity.

Some of the mothers spoke of how people encouraged them to kill off or abandon their special children – a dark and disturbing trend that came to light, especially in a society perceived to be educated, God-fearing, and culturally and morally sound.

During the event, Sri Arunodayam’s special children gave an exhilarating dance performance which left the audience awe-struck, and a well-known dance team performed on the most trending song of “Tamil Cinema” to entertain the audience. An exciting entertainment program followed in which all the special children participated and danced with gusto – clearly enjoying themselves! Typical Chennai South Indian meals followed for dinner, which was a gastronomical delight and much appreciated by all.

We are closing this project and once again thank you so much for your kindness. 

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