SPREADING SMILES (MUSKAAN)
We shall be spreading smiles so very enduring
Amongst all those born with some challenges
Physical and psychological afflictions
These may be hereditary infirmity
Persisting Intellectual disability
The special child has to be trained and honed-up systematically
By the trained teachers methodically and diligently
With basket full of love and affection
Imparting personal attention
We should provide these special children the special assistance
Commensurate with their physical and mental needs
To provide these hapless and helpless special ones the health protection
To shore-up their physio-psycho health conditions
By providing needful medical assistance
Along with meeting his needs from time to time
Thus enhance his motor skills as per his needs and environs
The Speech Therapist trains him correct pronunciation.
Then on significant recovery
Bestow the trained teacher gives him the right education, so necessary
Besides training him in art or craft, so suited in each case
So that challenged ones could stand on their legs
Then lead a life of self-assurance and self-confidence
With a paradigm shift from living on crutches of doles from others
Rather than living a life of self-reliance
In an eco-system of self-help realizing his self-worth
To stand-up and face life squarely with confidence
With self-esteem writ large on their faces
Thence instead of living on charities
Would like to contribute to spreading smiles
To all those deserving ones’ so that they also contribute in spreading smiles.
Disabilities in the old-age
Too is very disconcerting to say the least
Factors may be due to socio-economic factor
Or persistence in lack of attention in medical-care
Coupled with susceptibility due to ‘fair, wear and tare’
Those who accept the challenges of the hapless challenged
Are the chosen gifts of our Omnipotent and Omniscient God
Smiling smile by us all should be our mission
So that no challenged person gets ignored and is bestowed due attention.
IT SHOULD BE KEPT IN MIND THAT EVERYDAY IS A SPECIAL DAY FOR TAKING CARE FOR THE SPECIAL CHILDREN AND OLD-AGED PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
It is a sad commentary that a vast percentage of people with disabilities are not able to avail the school facilities and those who are admitted in t around the world especially in under developed and least developed countries. Due to non-availability of education, their quality of life is impacted. If such children get education, then they can get meaningful employment since there are countries such as India and others wherein there is reservation of seats for people with different levels of disabilities. Here there is not only the requirement of educational pursuits but also awareness of their rights.
Evidently, those who contribute for multiplying happiness and dividing smiles (Muskaan) especially amongst those who are physically and psychologically challenged are obviously performing Yeoman’s service to persons concerned particularly and to the community in general. Spreading happiness to physically and mentally sound people is easiest since it is known what it entails to make them happy but when question is related to physiologically and psychologically challenged group of individuals then it requires ocean of expertise to gauge the problem of the person, reserve of patience, tenacity to resolve problem, congenial environment, understanding the psyche of the persons concerned to make difference and then bestowing appropriate training as and when required, so that such individuals could also feel pride in living a normal individuals as you and me do without any stigma attached.
In essence, the best thing that any civilized society can do for children with special needs is to impart them appropriate education by the special trained teaching faculty. These teachers can help such children for their growth and development. If these children are tackled and handled with love and affection such children can do wonders. For example, in one of the renowned schools in Delhi, due to the best education, methodology and special handling many of the special children are presently studying with normal children and even excelling in educational pursuits. The need, therefore, is the publicity campaign for publicizing about the accessibility or availability of education for the disabled children.
The following are some of the bottlenecks which become handicap for the growth and development of the special children:-
PARENTS NEED TO HANDLE CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS WITH CARE
As the parents are the first ones who know the impairment(s) of their wards, therefore, they have to be careful for the requirements of their wards. The first and foremost is to seek the help of expert medical specialist for alleviating the situation. Timely help could make a world of difference.
NON-AVAILABILITY OF TRAINED TEACHERS
There is a requirement of trained teachers for imparting education for the special children since the individual needs of these children are different therefore they require different methodology, after psychologically understanding the need of different children for meaningful handling.
PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS
The special developmental needs of special children are to be taken care according to the needs of the individual child. Of all the things, the first thing which they require is sufficient of loving care, then psychological needs and subsequently physical needs according to the situation and condition. It should always be kept in mind that children with physical impairment require different handling, the children with psychological impairments need entirely divergently different handling. The elders in the family should take special care. With positive attitude and infusing positive attitude in the child are the need of hour.
TOYS AND EQUIPMENT FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Most productive toys and needful equipment could help the special children to not only keep themselves occupied in some productive venture along with drawing out their inner potentials slowly but surely. In this pursuit, the trained teachers functions not merely as a teacher or Guru but also a trainer who imparts love along with necessary dose of good advice on daily basis. Toys and equipment could help the special child physically but also help sharpening the mind and thinking processes.
Then Speech Therapist helps the special children not merely to imbibe proper speech and voice modulation but also how best to use gestures along with motor movement. This will have a telling positive effect on the special children, I have personally been witness to the change in lives of special children in one of the Special Children Centres. But one thing which has to be kept in mind while imparting such children education is the inflexible curriculum with freedom of thought and action but, of course, under the supervision of a competent trainer.
TAKING PART IN SOCIAL AND CULTURAL EVENTS
While giving formal education by a trained teacher, it should the endeavour of a teacher not only to impart formal education through trial and error but also train the child in singing, dancing besides participating in debates for sharpening his/her intellect. I have also witness the chorus songs and dances. This provides a golden chance for the special children to perform with the normal children infusing confidence in the children.
TRAINING IN COMPUTERS AND PAPER CUTTING, TAILORING ETC
It should be endeavour of the teachers to teach special children computers, cooking, paper cutting, cutting and tailoring, along with making different articles out of the papers along with paining.
DISABILITIES IN OLD-AGE
It has been observed in old-age, old people are vulnerable to disabilities due to physiological and psychological factors. It is also due to ‘fair, wear and tear’. In old-age people develop disabilities owing to restrictive movements of body parts, persisting ailments due to less medical attention due to socio-economic and environment factors. These infirmities may include prevalace of high Blood Pressure, muscular pains, indigestion problem, deterioration in internal organs like liver, heart, lungs, digestive system etc. Then there is also persistence of memory loss. The factors responsible for these may be social, economic, cultural and environments. There are also the old people who are not taken care by their grown up children. This factor is a key to not providing the old-aged people proper care and protection which they require.
SPREADING SMILES (MUSKAAN): FUNCTION OF OPTIMISM IN SPREADING HAPPINESS
What transformational influence consistent supervision, grooming, and training can do was realized by us during a visit to Centre for Differently Abled and Gifted children located at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. This visit afforded us an opportunity of interacting with the Centre Head a person who contributes immensely along with the team of motivated trained teachers in changing the lives of those who are having various types of disabilities like autism spectrum disorder connected with neuro-development disorder – difficulty in communication and interaction, slow in learning processes or in other words persons with intellectual disabilities, problems related with seeing and hearing or other challenges of mind and body etc.
The elegance and finesse with which this Centre is running (with community-based contributions) speaks volumes. What a total involvement and commitment cannot do can be seen to be believed. Here visionary zeal and enthusiasm, empathy and graces of our Omnipotent and Omniscient comes into play. Spreading MUSKAAN or SMILE should be the purpose of our life to say the least. Our salute to their unwavering resolve, perseverance besides pushiness despite hurdles in tacking the challenges of those who are challenged. At Muskaan, compassionate souls are making the lives of challenged children purposeful and inspirational in a way an expert sculptor chisels the uneven granite into a wonderful piece of the statue which immortalizes his work leaving everybody to appreciate his workmanship. My prayer to God is that such Muskaan (Smile) spreading Centres multiply to divide the smiles amongst those who need the same, the most.