My daughter Radhika has been a member of Kshitij for 25 years, since it's inception. The pandemic has been especially hard on her, because she is usually very active both socially and physically, and all her usual activities have either stopped or become much more infrequent. The initial lockdown in March brought her normal daily routine to a grinding halt. As With most people with intellectual disabilities, Radhika needs a fixed routine and structured activities. Given the traumatic nature of these events, the way in which Radhika coped has been remarkable, in no small part, thanks to the support from Kshitij. Radhika participated in all the Zoom and Whatsapp video calls organized by Kshitij, which enabled her to have the structure and activity that she really needed, while allowing her to interact socially with her friends. Teachers and parents would check in frequently with each other to provide moral support and to brainstorm ideas. Radhika has a talent for detailed art, so the painting, drawing and craft activities were a much needed distraction for her during times when she was stuck indoors With nothing else to do. The cooking and household related activities provided a fun and enjoyable way for her to be helpful to her aunt with whom she was staying. We also appreciated how Kshitij encouraged participants to take pictures of their work and share it with pride. Radhika always did so with a big grin! Once the lockdown started to ease and Kshitij slowly re opened, many efforts and additional expenses were undertaken by the administration and teachers to keep the workshops sanitized and well ventilated. They also had to spend time with more logistical planning to ensure that only a small group would meet at any time. Radhika and her peers received a tot of education and support With regard to Covid safety protocols, for example with wearing masks/ face shields and frequent hand washing. Now that we are facing a second wave of Covid-19 and are back in a lockdown, Radhika is managing it far better than earlier. As I pray for our country to come out of this crisis s, I remain grateful, from the bottom of my heart, for the continued support from Kshitij.
Hetal, a down syndrome adult, was initially disturbed, like any other adult due to Covid-19. It hampered her daily routine of going for her evening walk and unable to go to Kshitij where she spends most of her time. So initially, we had to explain to her about the importance of wearing a mask and washing hands regularly. Hetal was co-operative and kept herself busy doing yoga, dance and other activities. Later, when Kshitij introduced online sessions, we were amazed how quickly she learnt to answer video calls, be an active participant over zoom calls, became more tech savvy. We are grateful to Kshitij for arranging online sessions for our special adults as she loves to keep all the ingredients ready before a cooking activity, her art and craft materials before a creative class, to draw a housie ticket before online housie which she loves most. Most importantly, she makes sure her wifi is working (to not face any network issues) and proper link is sent to her prior the zoom class. Overall she has become more independent, more confident after her first doze of vaccine, but at the same time misses her daily routine and wants to know when will she be able to start going to Kshitij again.
Covid impacted all the members in our family, especially Harish. After the initial period of the lockdown as the days turned into weeks, Harish, unable to fathom the sudden change, began to feel irritated and would shout, even at the smallest pretext. At the same time, he started having health issues. This was the time when Kshitij started online classes and this enabled Harish to connect with his teachers and peers. His temperament changed, so did his behavior. Covid has brought him closer to Vivaan, his nephew. Harish looks forward to interactions online. Kshitij continues to provide assistance and support to Harish in these unprecedented times. A big thank you Kshitij team.