Monday, Oct 03, 2022
Outlook.com
Making A Difference

Spandan's heart beats for those whom society considers its leftovers

Spandan's heart  beats for those whom society considers its leftovers
Spandan's heart beats for those whom society considers its leftovers
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

From the first slow, unsure steps, like those of the children it was seeking to steady, Spandan has grown uninterruptedly, providing succour and self-esteem to the mentally challenged. "It has been a long, arduous trek for this institution," says Minal Parekh, who heads this integrated development centre for mentally handicapped children. Parekh, who did her masters in social work from M.S. University, Baroda, in 1976 and topped it up with a post-graduate diploma in scientific study of the development of the mentally handicapped, joined the institution when it started in a rented garage of a club in 1976. A brainchild of the local chapter of the Jaycees, the school was an offspring of the Banyan City Jaycees Education Trust. Arvind Zaveri, currently the guiding light of the institution, was the person who took great pains to help build the institution up brick by brick.

Spandan began with a handful of children at a time when there wasn’t much awareness about the problem. Says Parekh: "The mentally challenged were a class apart. Thought to be mad, they were shunned and meant to be hidden, neglected and best forgotten. Times, however, have changed and there is a greater awareness of the need to give love, instill a sense of belonging and train these children to be as normal as they possibly can be. It is no longer considered a stigma. Spandan currently has about 60 children coming regularly and several others coming for therapy and outdoor speciality or sub-speciality treatment."

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