VISHAL: Train Rides that Strengthen his Independence
Vishal’s biggest achievement according to us is his ability to travel on his own by train, from his home in Goregaon, a distance of over 25kms to our centre in Bombay Central.
Vishal joined Kshitij in 2013. His journey at Kshitij is very poignantly represented in his recently acquired ability to independently undertake the local train journey. Being at Kshitij helped him overcome a few of his many challenges. Today he is a social and well-groomed adult. He is conscious of his diet and tries to avoid sweets, though he is dearly fond of them.
RADHIKA: Exploring Oneself Through Swimming, Fashion and Food
When one sees ever-smiling and bubbly Radhika, no one can guess that she has a profound intellectual disability due to brain damage. Radhika joined Kshitij in 2000. Kshitij gave her an opportunity to work and this has given her a deep sense of independence and empowerment. Though Radhika cannot read, through persistent training by Kshitij’s teachers using tools like Flashcards, she has learnt sight-reading very well and can navigate through sign-boards in public spaces very well. Radhika has mastered many life-skills including taking care of her house, warming her own food and has even stayed alone at home without any supervision, doing her chores on her own. Kshitij is tailor-made for her skills and talent, as she loves to make handcrafted items and chocolates.
If today Radhika were to introduce herself, she would say she is an animal lover, a foodie, a movie buff, and the biggest feather in her cap: she’s a Special Olympics swimming gold medallist! She has represented India at 1999 Special Olympics. She has won gold, silver and bronze medals at the various events she has participated in India and abroad for past few decades.
NIREN : Learning to Love, Share and Help
Niren specialises in block painting at Kshitij. Inspite of his challenges, he is very passionate about his work.
Niren joined Kshitij in 1997. Over time with patient counselling and mentoring by Kshitij’s teachers, he has mellowed down and now allows others to get a lift in his vehicle. Initially, grasping the concept of colours was challenging to him but over the time, his understanding of colours has improved a lot and today he can identify a much larger palette of colours confidently. He is cooperative, talks confidently and enjoys the creative activities at Kshitij.
VIKRAM: Triumphantly taking the journey to Self-Sustenance
In the words of Vikram’s sister: “Vikram is a Hindi movie buff and a big Shahrukh and Salman Khan fan. He enjoys listening to Hindi movie songs through Mirchi FM radio and has as big music collection. His memory about film music trivia is just mind boggling.
Vikram was one of the first wards with Kshitij, having joined in 1997; each step in his life has been shaped by Kshitij.
At Kshitij, he has learnt to communicate effectively. The creative and physical activities have fine-tuned his motor skills. All this has helped him carry out his day-to-day tasks independently and with ease. Today his biggest achievement is his ability to travel by himself in a taxi to Kshitij or to his friend’s place. He can now go to a shop on his own and buy household items, handle money to pay the taxi fare and purchases made etc. Vikram is a big foodie and loves experimenting with new restaurants.
He is very anxious and keen to go to Kshitij every day. The very idea of him doing a job makes him feel very important and independent!
RESHMA : A Journey from Aggression to Adaptability
Reshma came to Kshitij in 2001. After combined efforts of teachers and her family, she is well-adjusted to her daily life and the activities at Kshitij. She participates in making gift articles, memorabilia and stationery items. She is friendly with others and works very well. She loves to dance and her speciality is doing the Naagin dance (snake dance), which she performs full of joy and enthusiasm, even if there is no music!
AMEYA : A Successful Battle of Overcoming Fears
Today we can see Ameya as a well-adjusted person who likes to read the newspaper, watch television and loves to be occupied in any kind of work. He works at home too and helps his mother with cleaning or cooking. He loves attending Kshitij and especially enjoys his weekend classes of music and yoga.
Ameya joined Kshitij in 2013. As a newcomer to Kshitij, he came with a lot of inexplicable fears – great fear of heights and depths, fear of noise, fear of cats and dogs, fear of going to the washroom etc. He would be panic-stricken at the slightest noise and get so highly disturbed that he would start screaming loudly. It required a lot of patient counselling by therapists and positive affirmations from teachers for Ameya to overcome his fears. The transformation journey of Ameya and his accomplishments fill Kshitij with hope and a sense of pride.