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Divya Jyoti Center

Divya Jyoti Center

Divya Jyoti is an independent Indian NGO running a training and work centre for people with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism and multiple disabilities in Varanasi, India. Started in 1997, it is run by Indian social workers who are dedicated to offer a better life to the students with such disabilities.

No matter cast, sex, religion or linguistic, cultural and socio-economic background: we welcome students who have disabilities of many kinds and we recruit our staff according to their competencies and commitment.

Our aim is to empower the students by improving their social and economic integration. We offer specific education based on individual needs and offer them developmental activities in view of preparing them for a vocation or a career.

Empowering people with disabilities also means helping them to restore acceptance, self-respect and dignity.


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News Letter


Dear friends and well wishers,


Best wishes for the joyful New Year 2016.

At this turn of the new year 2016, we would like to remember you all gratefully in our hearts that you have been with us and supporting our cause of promoting the welfare and development of our students with mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy and multiple disability. We take this opportunity to circulate this news letter by highlighting the activities, events and programs undertaken for the period of four months from September till December 2015.

Sheela Nathan honored by the French embassy


Sheela Nathan and her activitiesIn the last year, a photographer from a France Alliance (French Embassy) New Delhi came and took the photos of Sheela Nathan and her activities with our students of mentally challenged. Later, she was selected as one of eight women in India who have struggled and succeeded in service towards the emancipation of the downtrodden and marginalized persons in India. After wards, she was invited by France Alliance at New Delhi where her photos and of her activities will be exhibited in an Exhibition hall at New Delhi. When we requested the organizers whether we can claim the expenditures for the travel and accommodation, there was no reply from them, and then Sheela has decided not to attend the honor ceremony. And also we cannot afford to spend money for traveling and stay in New Delhi for a few days, because it will cost us lot which we cannot afford.

However, Irma, the mother of Anshu happened to be there at New Delhi. She has visited the exhibition and saw the photos of Sheela and the activities of Divya Jyoti displayed for the public view

Public perception on Divya Jyoti with regard to the newly built building

With the generous support of Anshu, we have got his building on the free lease for the activities of Divya Jyoti. But the people in the surroundings and the visitors who might think that Diya Jyoti has a new building and we might be rich. So whenever the visitors or friends come to Divya Jyoti, we would say them first of all that this building was donated to us on the free lease basis by Anshu and we are not the owner of this building and we are same as before in the financial standard.

Mud pot candles production and sales

From the month of September till the first week of November 15, the staff and students have been making mud pot candles in different sizes and patterns.

And also we have introduced mud pot candles with new designs as before including perfumed candles which were successful for marketing. This year, we did
not have any volunteers excepting Ute. Hence we have hired two Indian volunteers namely, Jyoti and Sajan who have extended their support in the production of candles and selling them in different schools. And also through the co-operation of Helen, the student from Banaras University, we had some student’s volunteers from Banaras Hindu University who have sold our candles in the University campus.

Divya Jyoti world disability day, 3rd December 2015.


In the November, we were very busy with the preparation for the world disability day which will be held on 3rd December 15.The students of Jeevan School
and Divya Jyoti students jointly practiced role play and cultural programs. Divya Jyoti staff and students have prepared the following, such as planning of schedule for the event, purchasing of gifts, prizes and packing them, giving of order for printing of new banners and sign boards, printing and distribution of invitations for the participants, inviting the chief guest and special guests, inviting children and adults with disabilities from the outreach service, giving orders for Mic sets, speakers, tent, mates, tables, chairs and other decorative items, also hiring of musicians to play musical instruments during the practice of cultural programs as well as in the forthcoming event. Finally just before the event, all the news papers and TV channels were invited to give media coverage to the event.

On 3rd December 15, as planned “The world disability day “was observed at PanchKhotehouse near Ganges river, ShivalaVaranasi. The main focus of this
event was to motivate the public through the cultural programs, role play, report of media, games and sports in order to include the of persons with disabilities in the mainstream of the society. Nearly 200 participants including 60 children and adults with disabilities have participated. The chief guest Mr.Govind Sharma, the ward member of Assi from the municipal corporation of Varanasi, began the celebration by lighting the mud pot candles along with our special guest Irma. The secretary of Divya Jyoti gave the welcome address and followed by welcome song sung by the students. And the students of Jeevan School and Divya Jyoti performed some group dances. Mohamadh Rafic with cerebral palsy from Divya Jyoti sang a solo song. In his speech, the chief guest, Mr. Govind Sharma spoke on the positive attitudinal changes in the approach towards the persons with disabilities and Mr. Savarinathan ,the secretary of Divya Jyoti gave a summary of activities and efforts undertaken for the last 15 years at Divya Jyoti in order to include the students with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities in the mainstream of life.

He has also reiterated the points, such us, the total integration persons with disabilities in the mainstream of life while imparting them educational and vocational activities. He has given example that how Divya Jyoti has been not only providing the students with mental retardation a comprehensive special education with vocational rehabilitation programme but also cared for the total of social and economical developments.

After the tea break, the venue was shifted to the playground and the following sports conducted. Frog race was participated by the students of Divya Jyoti ; throwing the balls at back bag was played by the parents; volunteers, friends and well wishers. The students of Jeevan School played the sport,

RUN ON THE ARMS with somebody lifting their legs behind. The winners of these sports were received the prizes. Conny van staalen and her husband Marijn were the chief guests for the sports events and they distributed the prizes for the winners of the sports. The daughter-in-law of the owner of a Kaneja electrical, Lanka, and Varanasi distributed biscuits packets to the persons with disability. Towards the event, all the participants were given food packets. In the evening by 7P.M, all the local TV channels broad caste some highlights such our group dance, the speeches of the Chief guest Mr. Govind Sharma and J Savarinathan, the secretary of Divya Jyoti.

The positive impacts of the collaboration in between and Divya Jyoti


For the last few years, the students of Divya Jyoti and Jeevan School jointly practiced the cultural programs and sports and participated at the Divya Jyoti
world disability day on 3rd December and Varanasi NGOS world disability day on 2nd January at St. John’s school. The initiative of these joint efforts has created some positive developments among students of Jeevan School and Divya Jyoti.

  1. Through these joint efforts, the Divya jyoti students with mentally challenged included with the students of Jeevan school for the activities of cultural and sports. This will encourage both to understand each other better in order to bring equality, respect and acceptance, in spite of the differences.
  2. The students of Jeevam school who have learning disability will recognize the learning problems of the students with mental challenged so that they will not feel themselves underestimated.
  3. In this inclusion, the mentally challenged will feel importance and the normal children will accept them as co-pears.

The results of the Community based rehabilitation


As we have mentioned in the previous news letter, we have surveyed more than 30 children and adults with disabilities in Varanasi especially in Nagwa. The purpose was to identify those persons with disabilities who have not covered by any NGOS and bring them together in one platform in order to build an association for the parents for benefit of their wards disabilities. After the identification, we have called the parents for a consultation meeting, only a few turned and others responded saying that, they will attend the meeting provided if they get any material or monitory benefits. Those who have attended, we had a consultation meeting with them and following programme was planned and implemented as follows.

  1. Sony a female teenage girl with hearing impaired admitted in the CBR (community based rehabilitation programme). This girl is also attending a deaf and dumb school. Since the parents cannot afford for the fees and transportation cost, we have raised a donation from our friends and purchased a cycle for her so that she will go cycling to the school and it will reduce the total cost of the transportation.

  2. The two Children namely Sabina with severe mental retardation and Praker with severe cerebral palsy have admitted at Divya Jyoti in every alternative day (half day) for physiotherapy and stimulation exercises. Fortunately we had the visit of Stephanie and her friend Nathaile. Stephanie has taught the parents how to do the physiotherapy and other simulative exercises for these children. These children has no mobility, they cannot sit and stand without the support.

  3. Another teenage boy with paralysis (bedridden) namely Utkash, we will organize home based program. In the future, we will identify more Children and adults with disabilities who will agree for the building an association for themselves.

 

Jitender donated winter clothes for our students at his birth day

 

Like before, Jitender who is running an Ngo for the poor weaver in Varanasi by exporting their garments has visited Divya Jyoti in the month of December 15 and celebrated his birth day, He brought Pizza packets and arranged lunch for the students. He has distributed winter shirts and pants to the students. He has been always happy and appreciating our students and our work at Divya Jyoti whenever his birth day is being celebrated.

Divya Jyoti’s participation in the planning session of Varanasi NGOSfor the forthcoming National Seminar

 

In the month of October and November 2015, a couple of times the Varanasi NGOS’s representatives who are working on different disabilities
came together in order to plan for a National seminar to be held in the month of Feb, 2016 J.Savarinathan, the secretary Divya jyoti has also
participated. It was decided that the topic for the seminar would be as THE INCLUSION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITY IN THE MAINSTREAM OF THE SOCIETY. The professional and personals who are working in different disability from all over India will be invited for this seminar. All the NGOS collectively took responsibility to organize and conduct this seminar in a successful manner.

Climate change


In this year, at Varanasi as well as fifty percent of Utter Pradesh did not receive sufficient rain fall. Instead there were hails storms and stones that
have destroyed the crops which has brought misery to the farmers. So everyone has doubted that there will not be normal winter this year, because, the people are anxiously waiting for the winter in order to get relieve from the heat. Till the first week of December 15, the winter has not yet begun. Then, suddenly from the second week of December, the cold has been started increasing, and just before Christmas and after a little while that
there was a few degrees fall in mercury. When the New Year has started, cold has started increasing and toward the first week of January, suddenly the cold is reduced drastically. According to the Weather Department, the mercury will dip after sometime. We are not sure whether it will be good winter till the end of January or not.

Important news


Farzana Begum, one of our teachers had a fall from the Cycle Rickshaw and had a fracture in the ankle of her left leg. It happened on 15th December, The doctor advised her to rest with a bandage on her ankle for at least three weeks. We, the staff and our friends Ute and Anna Lena have visited her to know about her conditions in order to help her for her speedy recovery. She may be joining back after completion of one month untill she will be able to walk comfortably.

To conclude this news letter, we would like to extend our heartily thanksgiving and gratitude towards our parents, donor friends, volunteers and well wishers who have always been with us in order to support the cause of our students with mentally challenged. This has boosted our morale for stepping into the new near 2016.


With kindest regards,



J.S.Nathan

Secretary

 

Divya Jyoti Center

Divya Jyoti Center

Divya Jyoti Center