Editorial

This year November month starts with a great rejoicing with Diwali festival being in the first week itself spreading joy and cheer. The atmosphere will be of hope and happiness.

The exhibitions of handmade products like rangoli, diyas, torans, sweets etc. by children with special needs will continue showcasing their talents. We all will wholeheartedly support them.

Their day is round the corner as we in India, celebrate Children's Day on November 14th (the date that marks the birth anniversary of independent India's first Prime Minister–Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and his love for children), while universally it is celebrated on 20th November. Let us all celebrate every child's creativity, their inquisitive mind, imagination, innovation , their vision and let it be an inclusive world!

Worldwide, November is celebrated as Epilepsy (tendency to have fits/seizures) Awareness Month. Last year in 2017, around this time I had an opportunity to meet Cassidy Megan, the founder of Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness. The change envisioned by Cassidy when she started Purple Day for Epilepsy is that no one should be isolated, rejected due to Epilepsy.

Do check social media page PURPLE DAY for EPILEPSY where Cassidy posts weekly videos on various issues of epilepsy.

My journey in the special education and disability field started with me having epilepsy (tendency to have fits) episodes post childbirth. Now, after more than two decades of experience of working as a special educator, counselor with various organisations working for epilepsy, have taught me that impact of epilepsy is adverse in childhood and it clouds every aspect of life thereafter. I have witnessed many cases of children with epilepsy going haywire due to lack of resources, guidance and counselling. That is the reason, we at ChildRaise are now focusing on delivering information through this website www.childraise.com & our disability helpline DISHA Toll free no : 1800-22-1203.

This month all our efforts will be geared to increase Epilepsy Awareness and provide rehabilitation resources that are available for people with epilepsy especially to provide educational , psycho-social guidance to children with epilepsy and their parents.

Let us all join hands together to give this Invisible condition more visibility. Let every child with epilepsy experience his/her full potential this Children's Day!








In India from August -September festivities start in a row till the year end.

October month started on a very happening note for us. We celebrated Cerebral Palsy Day, Learning Disability Awareness Month & Daan Utsav on October 1st by having interactive session with Manisha Bhurke of MBA (MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL ACTIVITIES) Foundation at Airoli. She is a wheelchair user & a person with Cerebral Palsy. She shared her life story with us how for years together she was in hospital & how determinedly she chalked out her life aiming for independence. What an inspiration she was! Hats off to her indomitable spirit! To meet Manisha pl log on to these links. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OuCBENYro4) & (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZxy9m8WB5w)

After Manisha's talk, Tanya Pradhan & her Team from Mindspace took over. They have been working on an interactive game based screening platform to flag children with a potential risk to autism and other learning disabilities in the age group 3 - 6 years. We had specially invited Special educators, regular school teachers & parents working in the field to interact & give then the feedback & seek validation.

During this programme, we also announced about Daan Utsav (Oct 02- Oct 08). It starts from Gandhi Jayanti till the next six days. This time, we have especially appealed to young population to donate small/ big amounts preferably every month to ChildRaise so we can continue with our activities. For this we have received some good response. We appeal to you all to participate in our Daan Utsav. Kindly donate in cash/ kind. " It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into it". Mother Teresa

October is declared as Learning Disability Awareness Month.In 1985, it was decided through a proclamation in the U.S. by President Ronald Reagan.
Since then, many other countries have started Awareness campaigns through out the October month.

On October 10th, to raise public awareness about mental health issues worldwide World Mental Health Day is observed. We wholeheartedly support that.

We are aware that blindness and vision impairment as global public health issues.Therefore, we would like to draw your attention towards World Sight Day,
which is observed on second Thursday of October, which falls on the 11th this year & to White Cane Safety Day on 15th October!

Right now, we at ChildRaise are busy with our registrations for Tata Mumbal Marathon (TMM 2019) which will take place on January 20th 2019.
We are happy to welcome some new runner participants along with some of our long time supporters.

Diwali is round the corner .We have Greeting cards, Diyas, board Rangolis & novel jute items.Do contact us for upcoming festival season and plan your gifts for your near & dear ones!!









We will be offering our gratitude to our Gurujan-our Teachers on September 5th. On this occasion we are inviting few lines from children about their teachers/ therapists/parents who take on the role of teachers. ( In fact they are our first teachers & carry on for lifetime).

We are expecting children to write, say & record & send us via email,What's App (Why not use the technology)? This is not a competition but an event to express our gratitude towards our teachers with an aim to encourage children to participate.Hope to receive a good response!

We are also sharing links of the videos recorded on You Tube or blogs by reputed professionals like Reena Singh, Rukhsana Sholapurwala, Kamini Lahhani etc. in the disability & rehab field. They are excellent source of learning for parents & professionals equally.

So .. Happy Learning to All !

We will also be celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi on 13th of Sepember. We will be announcing Online Ganesha Painting Event. Do encourage your child to send a painting of Ganesha in crayons, water colours or in any art form. We will be happy to post it on our social media page & also on website.

In the later part of September we move on to observe 'Deaf Awareness Week' which will be celebrated from Sept 18th to 24th worldwide. On 30th Sept, 'International Day of Sign language Rights' will also be celebrated. To spread awareness & inclusion of people with hearing impaired we are posting beautiful National anthems released on August 15th . Do watch them, appreciate & share them!





This August 2018, India will be celebrating 72nd Independence Day!

What is independence? Freedom of thought, movement, speech, religion, equal opportunities, no discrimination, fulfillment of our rights etc. Hope all this is achieved in the coming days. This is also a time to retrospect, reflect and rethink our old, outdated attitudes, to be free from ​prejudices and emerge independent in our views & judgements.

For a person with disability/ special need, to become physically independent, Accessibility is very important. Unlike western countries, we are lagging far far behind in providing appropriate infrastructure, facilities to people with special needs. Accessible India Campaign(Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan-http://accessibleindia.gov.in), slowly & surely should unfold a different story.

Another means to make people with special needs independent is to give them employment. This month, on Sunday, 26th August, we will be celebrating Raksha Bandhan. Lot of sheltered workshops will be making & selling rakhis made by their students. Do get in touch with some of these organisations or with us to get them. You will be making a difference to these organisations! Also do give orders for cloth bags & free yourself from plastic..Go Green! We are coming out with small jute pouches with folding cloth bags. Do get in touch with us for the same.

This month, ChildRaise is planning to start Sports Activities for children with special needs in collaboration with Blossom Disability Foundation. Watch out for more updates.

August is a month when festivities begin! Happy Independence Day ! Jai Hind !!





We celebrated Mothers Day by having a picnic for them along with their child with special needs on the farm in Lonavala. We had lot of fun but on a serious note, we could not stop thinking about the testing times for Parents with Special children. As soon as they’re born, subconsciously, each and every parent with a Special Child (Esp. mentally challenged or with autism who is not fully independent) thinks about the life of their kid after them.

Though Life Care Centres / Residential, Institutional care is an option very few parents will opt for the same. In India, institutionalizing your child is not thought of so easily still. Most of the time, this issue is not at all dealt with, unless one is forced for various reasons. The reasons may be manifold. It may involve health, physical well being of both parent & the adolescent/adult person with special needs.Then there may be financial, emotional reasons, so on and so forth. In some cases, after the parents demise, a sibling has to take over. In this July updation, do read about Rekha Balgi- a sister & a mother to her elder brother Girish who is mentally Challenged. We also discuss the issue of Guardianship.

Presently, we at ChildRaise are busy updating our data base for our every section. Many of the calls that we receive on our DISHA- Disability Helpline & Action on our Toll Free no- 1800-22-1203 enquire for life care centres. So we have prepared an updated list. While doing so, we could not help noticing that when we launched www.childraise.com in 2001, our list of Life Care Centres (Residential / Institutional Care) had only 8-10 institutions for Mentally challenged & now it has gone up to 25-30.

We have made some qualitative changes in our website. Trying to group together articles, data so you can retrieve them better. Do give us feedback.


 

June is the month when monsoon season starts in Mumbai. Schools reopen, new academic year begins. This is the time for fresh starts, new beginnings. This year at ChildRaise, we have thought of a new project "Happy Handwriting" which will kick-start this month.

What is Happy Handwriting?
When we meet parents, they are always complaining that their child is not willing to write, is slow or has illegible handwriting irrespective of the child has any special need or not. This is more so because of the pressure & compulsion to write when their body, muscles are not ready. We thought why not initiate the kids in to writing journey through play way. The kids will doodle, scribble and lastly tackle writing. We will also stress on 3Ps. 1)Position/ posture, 2) Pen/pencil & 3) Practice.Along the side, we will touch upon creative writing and reading. This we plan to take up as a regular activity by holding workshops for Juniors & seniors on Happy Handwriting.

Last June, we started a day tour named "DTour"- Disability & Diversity Sensitisation Tour. During this tour we visited different institutes dealing with disability, special needs & underprivileged.This year too, we plan to take few D Tours with some changes in the itinerary and visiting different destinations. This idea came from the satisfied & inspired participants of past D Tour. So we know that we are on the right track while taking a D Tour ;).

Besides, these above activities, we will be celebrating Father's Day on Sunday, 17th June. Yoga Day on Thursday, 21st June by having some relevant activity. We will be remembering Helen Keller on her Birthday on 27th June.

Be with us in our journey!

Be with us.


 

This May, Celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday, 13th & 7th Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on 17th.


We are in the midst of a very warm summer and the month that warmly celebrates Motherhood and honours Mothers all over the world. This year, we shall celebrate it on 13th May. I humbly dedicate this editorial to All Mothers.

MAY is also a happening and busy month for us at ChildRaise, with vacations in full swing and parents requesting for extra coaching/remedial sessions so that their children can make up for the lag. During the course of my teaching sessions I have come across so many wonderful mothers. ChildRaise takes this opportunity to salute them through this piece. It is moving to see them struggling & juggling with their daily chores, taking their child from one therapy session to another which hardly leaves them with any time for themselves. A mother gives up her independence, freedom, so that her child can be an independent adult. She casts her aspirations and desires aside. Her child's smallest achievement, development fills her with pride. She is ready to go that extra mile just to see her special one smile.

So true are the following lines written in praise of them: "The mother-child relationship is paradoxical. It requires the most intense love on the mother's side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent"."A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary...". On 17th , we will be celebrating #GAAD- Global Accessibility Awareness Day. The dictionary meaning of "Accessibility" is handiness: the quality of being at hand when needed. The purpose of #GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital (Web, software, mobile etc) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.The infrastructure, technology, websites etc.need to be Accessible for a person with special needs for him to be independent in life. Our Accessible India Campaign is the right step in this direction.



 

April is Autism Awareness Month!Shine a Light on Autism! Light It Up Blue #LIUB

April 2nd 2018 is the tenth annual World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD). To mark this day, thousands of people are coming together to Light It Up Blue. Join Autism Speaks (www.LightItUpBlue.org), Action for Autism, Forum for Autism in India & also other organisations working for Autism to Light It Up Blue and help shine a light on Autism!

Autism awareness is more important than ever. Why the need is more now?Autism is the third most common developmental disorder. Forum for Autism (FFA), a parent Support Group from Mumbai for families of children having Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) says that when they started out about 1 in 1500 persons, was diagnosed with ASD. Today they find the ratio to be gone up to 1 in every hundred. It is alarming.

This increase can only be addressed by early intervention, improved diagnosis and growing awareness.Please join our efforts and support Autism Awareness.



 

We are Celebrating Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness on 26th March! Do Remember to Wear Purple on March 26th & Join us!

This month ChildRaise will be celebrating Purple Day for Epilepsy (Tendency to get Fits). We really go all out to celebrate this day and make it a big event because there are very few organizations who focus on epilepsy in India. The statistics say that one person in every 100 has epilepsy. Though it is so prevalent, we still have so much stigma attached to it.

We are India partners with www.purpleday.org to spread epilepsy awareness & their message - You are not alone & not to fear epilepsy. Cassidy Megan started her mission at the very tender age , now a teenager, her initiative has spread to other parts of the world.Anita Kaufmann Foundation has joined her in this mission & taken epilepsy awareness on a very intense level. Their tagline is "Purple Day EveryDay". True to their words they are wonderfully creating awareness 365 days of the year.Do log on to www.purpledayeveryday.org

We do have regular readers who visit our website/social networking pages to find out which Day will be celebrated in the current month & they all wholeheartedly support it.This month we have approached eminent neurologists,support group & rehabilitation activists working in the field of epilepsy & requested them to share their knowledge, experiences, latest developments.



 

It's Not a Straight Road... Take a D Tour! We are very happy that our new project "D Tour" has completed an year. Do read about it in detail in our D Tour brochure. We are pretty much excited about this new unique initiative. Do visit our Facebook page & like us. On our FB page, you will find more info about D Tour & also the exciting snaps which will motivate you to take the D Tour. Hope to meet our www.childraise.com readers, our supporters on a D Tour. See you soon!

We are also proud that we have completed seven successful years of operating 'DISHA'- Disability Helpline & Action, our Toll-free No. being 1800-22-1203. We made an announcement of our telephone helpline on the International Day for the Persons with Disability(1203-Dec 3rd) in 2010 & started our operations on February 15th 2011. Past seven years have been very fulfilling for us. Many organisations , professionals have joined us as Knowledge & Area Partners broadening our knowledge & expertise.

Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon is a milestone event in the month of January. This year on 21st January, along with our staunch supporters, new supporters also joined in & participated in the Half Marathon & Dream Run for ChildRaise . It was an amazing experience for all of us!



 

Happy New Year ! Wish You All the Very Best for 2018 !



New Year means Celebrations, Fresh Beginnings & New Initiatives !

Usually we at ChildRaise are in the celebration mode from Dec 3rd itself because it happens to be the International Day for Persons with Disabilities & our Foundation Day. This year ChildRaise turned 17! www.childraise.com was launched in 2001.

Every year we strive to present some unique programme for our target group. Last year we started 'D Tour'- a Disability/Divyangjan & Diversity Sensitization Tour, in which we take our members to different institutions where they are doing some distinct work. D Tour was highly appreciated.

This coming year we will be releasing the Third Revised Edition of our Resource Guide- Journey to Empowerment: A Roadmap for children with Special needs. The release programme will be on Sunday,28th Jan 2018 from 5.30 to 8 pm.

This Resource Guide is like a Yellow Pages Directory of Rehabilitation Services. The first two editions were very much in demand & welcomed by the disability sector. We are sure for this third edition, we will receive much more positive response & support from all. May this year brings you fulfillment, peace & happiness!