When Mani was first transferred to IMHC (Institute of Mentally Handicapped Children) from another State-run Home, he came with "warning labels." Supervisors and U&I staff at IMHC were told that they'd better be careful because Mani was aggressive.
With his large frame and propensity for quick, angry outbursts, no one wanted Mani in their Home.
His speaking skills were limited to one or two words when he first came to IMHC, recalls Jay, U&I's Manager at the Home. He would sit sullen and angry, not bothering to speak to the other residents. In fact, everyone knew to keep a safe distance from Mani, especially when he lashed out in anger.
Yet, Jay, our manager knew that underneath the big, aggressive frame was a simple, child-like mind that just needed patience and love.
When Jay first invited him to start gardening, Mani agreed. Surprisingly, he followed instructions perfectly. He would water the plants or help with weeding, just as Jay asked him.
Next came the mat-making classes. For the first few days, Mani acted like he didn't care. He lay listlessly on the floor while the other boys worked on their vocational skills project. But, suddenly, Mani expressed his desire to learn.
"I was very surprised. Within half a day Mani picked up the skill," reports Jay. He now comes up to Jay and tries to engage in conversation. Sometimes it's words, sometimes, it's just gestures. But each time Jay knows how important it is to respond.
With his newly discovered skills and his ability to express himself better, Mani no longer comes with a warning label. Instead, he's a young man passionate about gardening, interested in mat-making and learning new skills and even someone who is now helping his friends at the Home learn these skills.
Thank you for donating to help young men like Mani. You're changing lives. Please do continue to support U&I so we can continue to reach out to those with special needs.