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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Children of a lesser God!

Aamir's television show Satyamev jayate inspired me to post this, again. This is one of the earlier posts on my blog (two years ago, to be precise). From past one week i had nothing running in my mind which i can blog about, so thought of writing (editing) this again.

No, i am neither talking anything about Mr Aamir Khan nor his show. Also, the title of this post has nothing to do with the eighties' melodrama. 
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Sanath, tell me the names of at least 5 cars you know?
Maruti… Honda… Indigo…Maruti, Honda, Indigo…
Say it loudly Sanath, I can’t hear, u have 2 more to go. (This time more articulate from the teacher)
Maruti, Honda, Indigo… (The boy was very hesitant to answer further)
Will u not answer if someone is looking at you Sanath?

This was a conversation between a teacher & her student. To be precise, this was perhaps a conversation between a teacher & a ten year old student, Sanath. You might be wondering why such a simple question was asked to a ten year old. In fact boys of this age can answer a lot more difficult ones than this one. If you are thinking if something was not proper, yes your thoughts are right. Sanath is mentally challenged. I witnessed this above conversation at ‘Apoorva center for AUTISM’ located at JP Nagar, Bangalore. Sanath is one among the 22 children who come here every day for special kind of schooling. This is the school meant only for children with Autism. The children of lesser gods.
 

Sanath's Elephant ...Jumbo Elephant!
Autism is a neural disorder in kids. It causes them to experience this world entirely different from the way most other kids normally do. They cannot express their feelings to others through words. They cannot eat, they cannot walk properly, they cannot play, they cannot feel, and they cannot. They just cannot.

My son is 18 years old. He is here for 15 years now’ Lakshmi madam, who is the caretaker of this noble institution, told this. She gave up her banking job to look after her son. He was 3 years when they noticed his disorder. Her elder son works for a reputed firm in US.

Every kid at Apoorva had different behavior. Some were happy on seeing strange people walking up to them & trying to be friendly with them. Some resisted, some shied away, and some not even tried to have an eye contact, as in case of Sanath. One of them was crying profusely just to avoid mathematics class. He hated numbers.

These kids, mostly, prefer to be alone, sometimes they don’t respond no matter how much loud you talk & sometimes they get afraid of even a meager noise. They don’t have a real fear of dangers. Sometimes they show their extreme distress for simple or no apparent reason. They find it extremely vulnerable to interact with other people. They never like to see any sort of change in their routine.

Autism doesn’t have any particular symptoms related to health, as per doctors. Kids’ behavior is the only way to figure out the disorder. Usually AUTISM in kids can be detected when they are around 18 months old. Worst part is that there is no treatment for this disorder. Early detection, Doctors’, therapists & the special teaching alone can bring any difference to these Children of a lesser God.


Some of the beautiful paintings at Apoorva
"The tallest man is he who stoops to help a child" are the humble words you will get to read on Apoorva's website.

Many thanks to my friend D who took me to this place.

32 comments:

  1. m sure it wud have been a different experience for u

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    1. Yes Neha, it was a touching moment, not only for me but to my friend D too.
      We were deeply moved to see the disability taking away the essense of thier life.
      What was appreciating was the patience of the parents. These kids behave so violent sometimes that it becomes impossible to cotrol them. For many many years these parents have been taking care of them, without anu regret.

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  2. WOW, Good you went and saw this all... and i loved the last line the tallest man is he who stoops to help a child well said.. hope and wish more and more people stoop and help every child

    Bikram's

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    1. Yes Bikram, it was great to be at that place. Unfortunately i havent been there again. Will surely visit again.
      I am with your wish.

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  3. I heard about Autism and thought it was something like Dyslexia but this is much more worse...Apoorva sounds like a nice place, they're indeed doing a gr8 job.

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    1. I wish no kid should have this disorder. Yeah Rads, Apoorva and the teachers at Apoorva are doing such a wonderful thing.

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  4. i saw a programme on Autism ...nice post and a gr8 job mak.

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    1. Thanks a lot Alka.
      What was the programme about? Was it the awareness about autism or was it on how to care the autistic kids? Please let me know Alka. If it is worth, we can share it with Apoorva. Thank you

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  5. Children need so much protection today, it seems. Yet...
    I feel so helpless when it comes to this topic.

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    1. Sir, when normal kids need so much protection and attention of parents, you can imagine the plight of mentally challenged kids.

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  6. Nice post Mak, as always!! I know a child in my neighbourhood in my home town.. I always hear his voices yelling for something or the other!! I would silently pray for him and also for his parents to have much more patience on him.. Unlike your post this child is brought up only by his own parents.. I have not seen him outside at all!!Sometimes I get angry on God as why is he punsihing these parents and kids for a complete lifetime???

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    1. You mean the child is Autistic? You can ask those parents to take him to one of the Autism centers Echu. I am sure chennai will have many of those.
      I don't have any answer for your question dear.

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  7. Who ever painted the butterfly seems to be very creative.

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    1. That painting is named as 'Apoorva's colorful butterfly' by Mani, bhagya and two other kids Ajeya. Indeed very creative.

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Jaishree. A warm welcome to my blog. It is an honor to have you here. Keep visiting.

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  9. very informative. I thought autism is a curable condition.

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    1. Even i was surprised to know it is not curable Prasanna.

      I am glad to have you visit my blog. Always welcome.

      Delete
  10. A very nice post.And so nice of your friend to take you to a place like this.Seriously speaking i feel that these kinds of children or grown ups actually have a different gift to look after, maybe they aren't normal(according to people's definition) but are talented in some way which a normal person might not be able to do.
    Your every post brings in a new topic and i can see hope and positivity spread in all.
    Keep writing!

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    1. Absolutely Alcina, these kids are very gifted. It is very much evident in some of the paintings they have done.
      Yes, my friend's passion to help these kids, took us there. Many thanks to my friend.
      You made my day with these beautiful words of appreciation Alcina. I am overwhelmed with joy. Thank you a million ton. Keep visiting.

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  11. Aww this is a great post. God bless these kids <3

    love
    http://www.meghasarin.blogspot.com

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    1. Am with your prayers Megha.
      Thank you

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  12. Lovely post Maksood...and every painting is soooo cute ....

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    1. Thanks a lot Seema.

      These are a few paintings captured on camera. There were many more created by these special kids.

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  13. Interesting read, Mak....wid these experiences we appreciate life more n also our kids :) Thanks for sharing. Hats off to those who r doing smething to help these kids in any form.

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  14. Anu, you have highlighted the crux of this post i.e. Appreciating life more. I am glad you mentioned it.
    Thanks a lot Anu. Keep visiting here.

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  15. Mak, I missed reading this earlier. It is not easy to see kids with autism or any handicap. I wish and pray that every human must born with normal health and never face any sort of handicap in life.

    I have spend some time with autistic kid few years back. He used to love my company, our communication used to be gestures and actions. Now he is big boy and stays far away from me so not in touch. His parents moved to NC only for him because our state has more facilities for autistic kids. Under age 5 kid can go to regular school and attend special class room education for free. This is great help for parents with autistic kids.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with autistic kids. They have drawn beautiful pictures, nice collage work and leaf prints. Listen this Tamil song from movie Autograph...@4.15 watch the moment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNjt5RaaThw&feature=related

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    1. Usha, i didn't keep count of the number of times i wathced this song. Thank you so much for sharing it. It is so enchanting.
      it is a band of people who can't see. hats off to them. No matter how harsh life has been with them, they are up to the challenge, with a smile.

      Nice to hear about your interaction with that kid. They develop a raport with only a few people and you are one among them. Nice of you.

      thank you for visiting here Usha. I am honored, once again.

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  16. good post. yeah, i have a XXXXX infected with ADHD... :( their parents take all care! but their stories shock me.

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    1. Yes Jay, their lives are shocking.

      Thanks for appreciating.

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