Wednesday, 23 September 2015

10 years Ago !

It was on this day- 10 years ago, that i came to Dehra Dun, with 3 students only ! This included my son , who has been the first student of the school when he was 6 years old. Then he was the first boarder of the Group Home - which was India's first Group Home geared to Autism !

It was in September 2005- on a rainy September morning , we hired a van to come to Dehra Dun- after getting the offer from Mr Chatrapati Dang - owner of the Doon Girls' School , where my daughter was an ex-student, to stay in his garden house in Dalanwala.  He had seen me - time and again- running after my son- in the middle of a meeting- or in the middle of a sentence, so he was kind enough give the huge house for about a year.

The Inauguration- at the Inderlok Hotel- also owned by Mr Dang , was attended by  the Late General Ranbir Bakhshi  of Raphael Centre as the Chief Guest. The Guest of Honour was Mrs Jyotsna Brar-Principal- Welham Girls' School.

The function was attended by 40 parents and families who came from Delhi -Inspiration Centre. We were truly  touched to hear Gen Bakhshi say "We are honoured to have a mother like you coming to stay in our State !" He was a member of our Board of Advisors, we miss his encouragement and mentoring !

General Ranbir Bakhshi- As Chief Guest, addressing the parents.

 Mr C.P.Dang, as Guest of Honour,being felicitated by a student.

The Principal-Welham Girls' School, and the Director- Doon Girls' School as the Guests of Honour- in conversation with Mrs Singh

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Pranay- The inspiration behind Inspiration & the new Inspiration- Nav Prerna Foundation

Tomorrow,hardly an hour later,is the 9th of September- my son-Pranay's Birthday !
This day,always rakes up mixed feelings- I feel so happy to have this wonderful soul, who has gently, but steadily steered me into whatever I am doing today !But at the same time it brings back memories of my stupidity- that I did not rush to the hospital- due to heavy rains. And- when I did- it was already late - as he was under distress !I was rather over-confident- as my uncle was Kolkata's topmost gynecologist, and his team of friends had been monitoring my progress.
I suffered distress at his birth, late night- 26 years back- on this day. The asphyxiation led to his 15 days stay in ICU- due to epilepsy after 24 hours of birth. Then again, when he was 4 years old - he had two epileptic episodes in the same month- which culminated in loss of speech,hyperactivity, aggression &a whole gamut of symptoms, where he was sliding into autism !
"Necessity is the mother of Invention!" So when he was refused admissions in 42 schools in Delhi - I decided to give up my lucrative job as Senior Biology teacher & later as Principal of a newly started residential school in south Delhi .  I started the Prerana Special School in Vikaspuri, West Delhi,in our own flat !
Then there was no looking back! We are known for our services- getting special kids from the low income group- in order to help that section of society who are always neglected and ignored by the government and society !
After 10 years of running the Delhi Centre, we decided to start the residential Group  Home in Dehra Dun. By that time I had already visited the USA twice & the then Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment- selected me to visit Japan to see their social welfare sector. That was the turning point in my life- as I saw 90 year old mothers there - running organisations for the special persons! 
I came back fully recharged to take the next giant leap - to starttheGroup Home. By that time Pranay was 17 - Tilaknagar was getting too noisy and cramped for him- I had to plan fast to get him out of Delhi.
That's when I got the offer from Mr. Dang-owner of Inderlok Hotel,and Director of Doon Girls' School-to come & stay in his sprawling garden house in Dalanwala , Dehra Dun. 
So that was my entry into Dehra Dun,and beginning of the Dehra Dun Centre!