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

Turning point

Tailoring class batch
Tailoring class batch

Vishakha (name Changed) was bought to the observation home for Girls Pune at the age of 14 yrs. She was found by the railway police on Pune railway station all alone crying. She was very frightened and scared when the police started asking her questions. She refused to give any answer. As a matter of safety she was enrolled in Observation home for girls. She used to be very shy and quite. May be wondering what is going to happen with her?
Catalysts for social Action (CSA) had taken up the activity to run tailoring class at this Child care institute for the girls especially for those who are school drop outs. Her stay in Observation home for girls and session with psychologists revealed that she has left her schooling after 5th Grade (4 yrs back) After that she never tried to read and write. Since she could not do well in her formal schooling she was sent to attend the tailoring class run by CSA. But there too she could not do well as it was difficult for her to understand to take the measurements and do proper cutting. The instructor of the tailoring class then has to teach her the ruler first and then some basic calculations. Vishakha fund this very boring and so difficult that she started missing the class and whenever she used to attend she used to pay less attention.
Tailoring instructor then changed her policy and started doing cutting of clothes for Vishakha and asked her to just stitch cuttings done by the instructor. Vishakha was very happy as she could run the sewing machine and finish the task before other girls do it. Other girls used to spend time for learning cutting and then start stitching whereas in Vishakha's case whatever used to come to her she used to just run the sewing machine over it. After few days the instructor made her realized that only stitching faster than then others will not help her to make her own dress independently as the other girls were doing.
Vishakha took the challenge as she had experienced the joy of finishing the task before others, she wanted to overcome the lacuna and be the expert. She now showed her interest and spends extra time with the instructor. This made her expert and confident that she started stitching clothes even after the class is over. She stitched frocks to all the younger girls in the Home. Meanwhile her interaction with Child Welfare committee and Staff from children home made the police officials to find her parents. Her parents are informed and very soon they are going to come to take her back. But Vishakha wants to stay few more days in the children’s home so that she completes her course. She is confident that sfter going back to the small town to which she belongs, she will start tailoring of her own and will be a helping hand for her poor parents.
Vishakha admits that this course of 3 months, surly is the turning point in her life……

Girls are learning
Girls are learning

Links:

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?

Links:

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:

 
   

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