Friday, August 22, 2014

#IceBucketChallenge Is No Laughing Matter

Picture Source

 The first video of the ALS #IceBucketChallenge I saw on FB was of a young girl in a bikini, standing in her dark bathroom, pouring cold water over her head and then tagging her four friends to do the same or else donate $100 to the charity. In her comment box there were her friends who were against this idea of accepting her challenge.

I found it strange that people would do such silly things to raise funds in this way for the cause as serious as ALS.

Just then I read another friend’s status that read “Hit yourself on the head with a cast-iron bucket it to raise awareness about stupidity. Welcome to the #KickBucket challenge.”

It seemed stupidity to me too. What was this challenge and what was a big deal. I posted on my wall “What is the big challenge? Indian do have ice cold bucket bath everyday

As the day progressed, my FB time line was getting flooded with many such videos of known people accepting #IceBucketChallenge. It was going viral. In the trending column, it showed that donations to the A.L.S. Association, a Washington-based nonprofit that funds global research to find treatments and a cure for the disease, had surged since the challenge started trending in late July. The group said Thursday morning that it had received $41.8 million in donations from July 29 until Aug. 21.

$41.8millions raised for challenge of ice cold bath?

NO, people. do NOT post pictures of yourselves in bathrooms with a bucket, wet from a bath. NOBODY wants to see you that way, and it is NOT what the ice water bucket challenge is all about.” Screamed the status of yet another friend.

Was it a joke that people were enjoying? And why were educated people on my FB list doing it too?  Another friend wrote:

"Stop calling ice bucket challenge 'stupid' or 'useless' because it is not. Yes the water is getting somewhat wasted but it is more of an investment than wastage... Get your facts rather than criticizing every damn thing!!!" 

In conversation with my niece, it finally began to make sense. She told me about her 30years old friend (she knew in Bangalore) who was suffering from this illness. She said that he had two small kids and he had very little time to live.

When the disease strike some one close, a person we may know, we begin to feel its weight. We understand the seriousness of this disease.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—also referred to as motor neurone disease (MND), Charcot disease, and, in the United States, Lou Gehrig's disease—is a neurodegenerative disease with various causes. It is characterized by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, difficulty in speaking (dysarthria), swallowing (dysphagia), and breathing (dyspnea). ALS is the most common of the five motor neuron diseases.

One moment, a person is leading a very normal life, enjoying a game of basketball, and next moment he feels heaviness in his feet. He stumbles and falls, then experiences awkwardness when walking or running. Over the time, he starts experiencing difficulty in moving, swallowing, speaking or forming words. His muscles begin to tighten and there is exaggerated reflexes including an overactive gag reflex. Difficulty in chewing and swallowing makes eating very difficult and increases the risk of choking or of aspirating food into lungs. In later stages of the disease, aspiration pneumonia can develop, and maintain a healthy weight can become significant problem that may require the insertion of a feeding tube,

Although his mind remains sharp, ALS, that attacks his nerve cells, can ultimately lead to paralysis. Life expectancy is typically two to five years from the time of diagnosis.

The exact cause is not understood and there is no cure or treatment that can stop or reverse the disease. There is need to find a proper drug to cure the person from this disease.

I finally began to understand the seriousness of this disease and the importance of doing research. By ALS #IceBucketChallenge, a lot of awareness has been spread, by tagging people on social media, a united chain has been created and people are donating happily for this cause.

And all things said and done, there is humor behind this serious cause.


Friday, March 14, 2014

How to conduct a cooking Class for Special Children

One of the activities that can be included in the training of special education is cooking.
 Teaching special children to cook is same as teaching a normal child to cook. The student may be 15years old or 20years but he/she has to be taught from the basics when he is introduced to the kitchen.
Cooking food is the fantastic way of getting children interested in healthy food habits.
Let me take you to a kitchen where a group of five students will learn to make Dhal, a traditional dish that is cooked in every home.
A proper environment should be created, where a group of children are seated comfortable (not standing together near the stove) in the kitchen.

The cooking session of Dhal can proceed with following steps

1.    Each child is given a graphic recipe of the dhal dish that they will make
2.    All the ingredients (moong dhal, water, coriander leaves, green chilies, garlic,  tomatoes, salt) are place in front of children on the table.

3.    Each child is asked to identify the ingredient by its touch, smell and taste
4.    Two children are asked to come closer to the workstation and are asked to wash the dhal with water.

5.    Children are asked to light the gas and keep dhal for boiling. One teaspoon of turmeric is added to the dhal.

While the dhal is kept to boil, the children can be involved in interactive discussion about hygiene, good eating habits or math on measurements of ingredients. Children can help in chopping tomatoes, chilies, cleaning of coriander leaves and in peeling garlic cloves.During the cooking session, children learn to apply math and reading skills as they follow recipes and measure the ingredients that they will use in the recipe. They also learn about food safety and meal planning skills. They learn about nutrition and healthy choices in fun and interactive way.

6.    When the dhal is boiled, it is lifted off from fire and churned well.
7.    Dhal is transferred back on stove.
8.    Chopped tomatoes, chilies and coriander leaves are added to the dhal.
9.    In a separate pan, oil is heated and chopped garlic is added.
10. Burnt garlic is added to the dhal.
 Recap of the method of preparation can be discussed with the class. Children are given a bowl ful of dhal to taste.

Some games can also be played as follow up after the session.

Moong Dhal
1cup moong dhal
2 cups water
2 chopped onions
2 green chilies
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1tbsp oil
salt to taste.

1.    Boil dhal in 2cups of water
2.    Add turmeric powder
3.    Keep it to cook for 15 minutes or till dhal is soft
4.    Churn the dhal and mix it well
5.    Add the chopped tomatoes
6.    Add chopped chilies
7.    Add chopped coriander
8.    Add salt
9.    In a separate pan, fry the chopped garlic till brown,
10. Pour it into the dhal
Serve with boiled rice.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

World Class Champions Make Us Proud

This year, our school, Swami Brahmanand Prathisthan, Center for Mentally Challenged, celebrates silver jubilee year. It is the year to mull over its’ existence, to understand the challenges faced by the institutions and to share the joys experienced at the victory achieved by students.

Parents and teachers work hard in developing the strength of a child; it is not an easy task. Every child has his own ability and his own capacity to perform, every teacher has to explore and work hard to improve that field of interest in which he/she shows capacity to improve. But fruits are sweet, especially when they bring back credentials in the form of medals and certification of recognition.

This year is special.

Four of our children were invited to participate in ‘Asia Special Olympics’ held at Newcastle, Australia, to represent our country and they came back with 2 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze. 

Our happiness knew no bounds. We had a huge celebration to felicitate these winners. There was a special event organized whereby children were given gifts in cash and kind.

Laxmi Shetty brought back 2 gold medals for table tennis doubles.

Laxmi shetty is a very efficient student. She shows skills in every field: in handicraft, in cooking and in sports. Laxmi joined school in the year 1994 at the age of 7. She was placed in the Junior group and after going through all levels she has reached 
Vocational level at 18.

Laxmi is an all rounder. Besides sports, she also excels in art and dance. She started participating in sports competitions since 1996. She showed interest in Table Tennis and her initial training started under Mr. G.V.Shastry who is a National Level TT champion. She participated in many TT competitions from district level to National level.

Some of her achievements are:

2005- State Games- Mumbai- Gold
2005- National Games- Korba
2008- National Coaching camp
2009- National Games- Kolkata-Table Tennis Singles- Gold
2012- State Games (Soft Ball)- 1 Silver
2013- State Games-
2013-National games- Rajasthan, Singles-Gold/doubles-silver
2013- Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games 2013 at Newcastle Australia he won
TT women’s doubles-1 gold
TT mixed doubles-1 gold

In spite of various challenges in her life, her mom, Mrs. Shetty puts in lot of efforts for her daughter. Laxmi suffered ill health few days before she was to leave for Australia and had us all worried. But it was her grit and determination that helped her to succeed.

Shrilak won 1 silver for cricket at Special Olympics at Newcastle, Australia

Shrilak Bhoir is the student of our Uran center called Sweekar . Shrilok joined school at the age of 14. He has shown great progress in his work. 

He is placed in vocational group and is very sincere and motivated to work. He travels independently to school and shows interest in school activities.

His achievements are as follows:

2012- State Games (Soft Ball)- 1 Silver
2012-District Games (badminton)-
Singles- 1 Gold
Doubles- 1 Gold
2012- National Games – Bhopal (badmington)- singles-gold
Doubles- silver
Attended two coaching camps
2013- Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games 2013 at Newcastle Australia he won
1 silver in the cricket match

Yash Mhaske won I silver in 'shot put' event

Mangesh (as he is lovingly called) joined school in the year 1991 at the age of 3. Mangesh was faced with lot of perceptual deficits hampering his confidence.

With consistent training he progressed from play group through various levels till he reached the vocational level at the age of 18.

His involvement in activities like singing/dance/drama helped him improve his confidence. He showed interest in sports and started participating actively in all competitions since 1998.

Some of his achievements are:

2001- District games- 1 gold
2002- State games-1 Gold
2002- National games(delhi)- 1 gold
2005- state games- basket ball
2008- Power lifting National coaching camp
2012- District games- Mumbai- 3 gold
2012- National Games-Bhopal-1 gold/1 bronze
2013- Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games 2013 at Newcastle Australia he won 1 silver in shot put event.

After his training in the vocational section Yash is now employed by Mr. Atul Shah as a office boy in his firm Avro International.

Yash loves to be the leader , he is helpful  and very adjusting. He also participated in the self advocacy program held by Parivaar. This program made him confident and vocal.

The training given at the School along with the parents involvement and contribution has made him independent /confident and contributing member of the community.

Disha Maru won 2 bronze medals for swimming event.

Disha joined school in the year 1992  at the age of 3 years. She was unable to walk, talk and care for her self. With consistent training from school and sincere dedicated efforts of her parents she progressed from play group through different levels to the vocational level.

Besides the school activities she participated in various extra curricula activities.

Her first achievement was at the age of 7 being the youngest participant in the National Music and dance festival organized by NIMH Secundarabad she won a special prize in the solo dance in the year 1999. She was appreciated for her performance by Actor Anupam Kher.

She attended various camps which included trekking, yoga and sports.

At a very young age she started learning to swim. We still remember her fright at entering the pool during her initial stages. Our teacher Rekha,  learnt swimming just so that she could enter the pool with the children. This made a lot of difference and students started learning well. Other teachers also got themselves trained.

Some of her achievements are:

2002- National Games- 2 gold /1 bronze
2005- State Games- 3 silver
2005- National Games- 2 Gold/1 Bronze
2008- State Games- 2 silver
2009- National Games-3 Bronze
2012- District- 1 gold
2013- State level at Kolhapur- 1 gold/2 silver
2013- National Games-Karnataka-1 gold/2 silver/1 bronze
2013- Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games 2013 at Newcastle Australia she won 1 bronze in the 25m relay and 1 bronze in the 50m relay.

We need to make a special mention about the participation of her  parents . Mrs, Maru (who is also our Trustee of our school) always took lot of pains for her training and development. She would not only take Disha for competitions but would also take other students along with her.

Disha is a very loving and caring child who is adaptable. She loves to take responsibilities and lead her friends.

Out of Box


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