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May 31, 2012

Camp # 2: State Home for Mentally Challenged Boys

Having fun with the ever-smiling boys!
Having fun with the ever-smiling boys!

When I was first told that we would be working at the State home for Mentally Challenged Boys, I was quite apprehensive because, firstly, I had never worked in an environment like that and, secondly, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to handle the boys there. What followed at the summer camp however, was an experience beyond verbal description and the complete opposite of what I had expected! U&I held the summer camp at the State home for Mentally Challenged Boys on the 7th, 8th and the 9th of May and I like to believe we made a HUGE difference, the right way, in the lives of these boys.

On the 7th , we took around 45 boys to Cubbon Park for a day filled with fun and games. The boys were super excited and enthusiastic about the entire outing and the happiness was contagious. I could see each intern smiling along with the boys they were allotted to, while the boys indulged in sliding, running, climbing and having an absolute ball of a time on their day out. The train ride kept each of the boys captivated as they held on tightly to the interns and laughed and clapped as the train made its journey around Cubbon Park. They waved at people who they passed by, and at the U&I interns who were standing around. Never before have I seen a bunch of kids as lively and infectiously happy as these boys.  By the end of it all, we were all drained out, but even on the bus journey back, the kids continued to smile and clap and kept the entire atmosphere charged with positive energy. It was a memorable day, both for the kids and for the interns alike.

On the 8th and 9th ,things got a little more serious as we put aside the playfulness and decided to get down to business. The Home the kids were staying in, was in dire need of cleaning and with the help of a few volunteers,we started our cleaning spree spanning across the dorms, bathrooms, clothes and nurses’ rooms. A bunch of us kept the kids entertained while the others indulged in the dirty business of cleaning up (quite literally,might I add!)

The kids had a whole lot of fun coloring, playing, dancing and mesmerizing the interns with their hidden talents and their contagious happiness. There was never a dull moment in the two days we spent there.  The male interns cleaned the floors and walls of the dorms, bathrooms and nurses’ rooms till they were sparkling clean, while the girls segregated, washed, dried and folded the boys’ clothes, mats, winter wear and blankets. By the end of it, we had made a visible and evident change in the cleanliness quotient of the entire place. With the help of gloves, masks, mops and detergents, we sure had made a difference where it mattered the most for the well-being of the boys.

Thank you,U&I,for helping us be agents of the change we want to see around us!

May 29, 2012

Camp # 1: Shishu Mandir

Individual assessments being administered
Individual assessments being administered

"Every child is special and deserves to achieve and realize his/her growth and dreams in healthy surroundings.  U & I helped in making this a reality at Shishu Mandir.  Shishu Mandir is a school that caters to children from the underprivilaged background . When we first went got introduced to the kids, at first glance they seemed like regular school children prepared to hear lectures from us, but we had no idea how much talent each child was gifted with and were greeted with a bunch of nice big smiles. We spent two days at the school and there is no doubt that wehad a unbelievably life-changing time.  At the Shishu Mandir camp, we focused on getting to know the kids' dreams asand aspirations, what they wanted to pursue as their careers later on in life,and also tried  helping them in realising these dreams. On the first day, we conducted an important workshop on how to present oneself at interviews, which was followed by a comical skit depicting the same.The kids loved it and found the workshop very useful. When the first day got over, we were very exhausted but at the same time were very excited to come back to meet the kids the next day. On the second day, we had Career Counselling sessions for the kids. The kids were very responsive and most of them became very clear on what their ambitions in life now were. AtShishu Mandir, a lot of fun and games were the highlight of our days. We played a lot of games and activities with the kids. The one game which had all the kids on their toes was the water game that we played,which put their teamwork skills to the test. One of the major breakthroughs I have personally realized from this camp was that every single child had a unique talent, and this was proven at the main event at the end of the day at the Talent Show where everyone showcased all their talents to the cheering crowd.

Our response form the kids was excellent. "I really enjoyed with U&I. I just loved the way you all interacted with us. I learnt how to manage my time,and this camp also helped me realize my dreams and passions in life. I would also like to work with U&I,"said Preethi. This program was also beneficial for the older kids as well. Anand Babui says,  "This summer with U&I made a huge difference to me.I am a BCom student and the team taught us how to behave in an interview, which I didn't know about.  They also gave us good tips regarding interview assessing and mannerisms. The games conducted helped us work as a group and the discussions helped bring out new ideas. I want the team to come back. The seniors can help us with career planning, and can also conduct a session on how to overcome inferiority complexes.To conclude, our first U&I summer camp at Shishu Mandir was a grand success !"
May 22, 2012

Annual Report of the work at the State MR home

For the last two years, U&I has endeavoured to partner with the staff at the State Home for Mentally Challenged boys to improve the level of care, hygiene and rehabilitation at this home. Over the next few years, we would like to continue this partnership and see the home grow into a world class rehabilitation facility. In the coming months we will be submitting an proposal to the Department of Women and Child Development to enter into a Private Public Partnership with U&I to take the work at the Home to a new level and work towards making it a facility where children will receive the best care. 

We have attached a copy of our annual report of the work we have done in this home. Thank you for your support and for enabling us to carry out this work!


Attachments:
 
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