What’s been happening at Satya ?

Dear friend,

The past three months have been packed with activity at our centres! Picture above is from the outing to Matrimandir. We have tried a new format, a PDF version of the newsletter.

Our students are back, and we couldn’t wait! We are finally into our routine, with parents also heaving a sigh of relief. We were happy to inaugurate and complete many interesting projects that push the envelope on our understanding and response to disability.

The end of the financial year saw the inauguration of an inclusive anganwadi, to cap off a project we are very proud of, where an entire village came together to start on the journey to inclusion: the Sustainable Inclusive Rural Development project, in association with United Way Chennai. The enthusiasm of the youth was infectious!

Livelihoods was our focus for the quarter, with conversations around hiring in industry, with a live event in association with CII; and in the hospitality sector, as a webinar.

In March, we added another village centre in Marakkanam, Tamil Nadu, an area with an immense need for a centre like ours.

Our partners, parents, and students won many awards as well! While we were happy that we won United Way Chennai’s Best NGO partner (notable project) award, we were happier when our Pollachi centre head Ms. Savitha won the Role Model for Humanity award from Radio City, and happiest when our student, Ananya, won the “Sadhanai Kuzhandhai Virudhu” (Child achiever award) given by Nallore Vattam.

Lastly, to give a choice to our subscribers, the newsletter is in PDF format here. Please take a look and let us know what you think!

Warm regards,

Chitra Shah

Director, Satya Special School

Greetings & news from Satya

Dear friends,

All of us at Satya wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year! 

This year has been limiting and liberating, challenging and filled with opportunity, full of new directions and reiterations, that we are thankful for all the lessons that have come these past two years. We thank you for your continued support. 

Here’s a brief update of the highlights of the past quarter, apart from our regular programs and services at our various centres. 

Warm regards

Chitra Shah,
Director, Satya Special School

International Day of PwDs Commemorated Across Our Centres

And this how we celebrated International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3: with dances, mime, poetry, drawing, and more!

At Satya’s Village Rehabilitation Center, Mutrampet, our Guest of Honour, Mr. Govindasamy, Election Coordinator of Pondicherry, talked about the schemes and special facilities offered by the Election Commission of India for PWDs. Our vice president, Mrs. Sita Ramkumar gave a welcome speech, and our children danced, recited poetry, and performed mime and drama. More than hundred students, parents of PWDs and general public participated in the event.

At our Vocational Training Centre, children danced, sang their hearts out and also taught the teachers how to step to the tunes! “It was the first time since COVID that we had so much fun,” Ms. Archana Ranganathan said.

At our Pollachi Centre, we organised a drawing competition, and distributed mementos and sweets to honour the occasion.

Focus on#ThisAbility

In the past few months, we have been successful with our This Ability Discussion Series, touching upon topics less pondered upon.

On October 6, to commemorate Cerebral Palsy Day and #DaanUtsav, we organized Social-Lies: Busting Myths about Relationships and People with Cerebral Palsy. It was a high-energy session with panelists talking about various aspects of friendships and romance with people with cerebral palsy.

On October 19, in collaboration with Sethu Foundation, we held a session on Menopause Awareness to help women navigate through menopause.

On November 25, we conducted a session that will help us tackle preventable disability at its roots: Genetic Counseling in Prenatal Setting.  The session was received very well, and helped families and therapists understand and deliberate on the importance of genetic counselling for couples and families, what it means, and the tools and resources available to expectant couples.

Part of Satya’s work has been in helping create effective partnerships with institutions. To further that, and to see how best the social sector can share experiences, This Ability ventured into a session in Tamil for NGOs: Beyond the Sheltered Workshop: New Perspectives in Livelihoods for Special Needs. The session provided many interesting insights on employability and livelihoods. NGOs have already expressed an interest in more such sessions.

Natheeshwar, Our ‘Souper’ Self- Starter!

As soon as Natheeshwar got to know about The Energy King and Queen 2021 Cookery Contest, he was on his feet, discussing with his parents about his ideas and cooking methods, using appropriate crockery, and plating. He was overjoyed and pumped up to participate in the event conducted by the Rotary Club of Pondicherry Eves on December 11.

His parents were surprised to see his enthusiasm and competitiveness. While they were aware he had a passion for cooking, they did not know he was this interested!

He had to prepare a soup and a starter and he had chosen Paneer Soya Balls, and Oyster Mushroom Soup (Sippi Kalaan Soup).

On the big day, his parents were a bit concerned about the number of people, music, and announcements on loudspeakers, as it might have triggered his hypersensitivity, but Natheeshwar had another surprise up his sleeve. He handled everything calmly, and focused on his preparations.

As the chef from Sunway Hotel complimented Natheeshwar on the dish, he had a huge smile on his face. He was also applauded for his courage and competitiveness and received a gift for his participation.

Natheeshwar was very happy with a sense of achievement! What’s more, he did not let his disability define him.

This Diwali was made special for us by our friends and well-wishers as they picked up sets of diyas made by our children at Satya! Children made around 60 sets, all of which flew off the shelves! We also came up with quilled Christmas ornaments, which were highly appreciated by one and all.
On that note, Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year to you!

« Thank you for your support »

A child’s pain was reduced, a family ate well, a mother worried a bit less, and in some cases a child was saved of an epileptic fit and maybe something more serious…

All of this would not have been possible without your support. Thank you
for keeping these children and people who have a lot less than before,
impacted by the lock down in your hearts and contributing generously in
these times that have troubled everyone in some way or the other. Here
is what some of them have to say to you :

« Usually epileptic medicines are provided free for us in the General Hospital but with the lockdown we could not reach the hospital. I was worried as one day of medication missed would mean serious seizures for my son. Thankfully Satya’s Angels came with enough medicines that we could use for the entire month. This support was god sent. »
Mother of child with disability

« I live in the rural village where I can only access provisions and vegetables if I go to work that day… there is no daily work these days and I was worried about how I would feed the family. The survival kit from Satya is a boon to families who are dependent on our daily wages earnings for our basic needs. God bless you all !! « 
Single mother from a marginalized community

« The lady was so touched when I delivered the medicines that she started to cry and tried to touch my feet.. I was almost embarrassed… that is when I realized of m how important the work we are doing was ! »
Project Coordinator – Satya Special School