I was invited by the Public Relations Officer, Ms. Lalithad, to volunteer for Samarthanam on the occasion of its 18th anniversary this past week. There were around 10 volunteers who had come to help them in conducting sports events. Samarthanam supports the visually impaired, disabled and underprivileged to keep in pace with rest of the society by providing quality education, accommodation, nutritious food, vocational training, placement based rehabilitation and achieve personal independence. Before the event, myself and the other volunteers, made rangoli outside of the Samarthanam office, did gift packaging for the winners and participants, helped the staff in arranging all the sports equipment and served the launch to all the visitors.
Compared to my past volunteering works, the experience was totally different in Samarthanam. It’s not because of what and for who the organization is working for but rather of all those disabled people’s young and energetic attitude along with strong passion to participate and win the games. Even the founding trustee Mr. S.P. Nagesh was participating on the event with great enthusiasm. He was encouraging other physically challenged members to give their 100 percent on the competitions. I was enlightened to see their positivity and self-confidence towards winning the game.
There were 4 groups in the event i.e Male (disabled and non- disabled) and Female (disabled and non-disabled). I was assigned to conduct the sports for disabled and non- disabled women. It was quite fun to see them actively participating in the sports like balls into the bucket, lemon on spoon, find the elephant tail and Musical chair. From that event I understood why this visually challenged team won the World cup cricket 2014 for disabled that was held in South Africa last year. They even requested the volunteers to participate on the musical chair game. After finishing all the sports there came time to play by volunteers. I was so glad to be cheered up by whole Samarthanam teams which led me to secure the second position.
Through this one day event I have made so many friends who are really motivated to work as a social entrepreneur in their community. Their energy, motivation, intellectual ability, self-confidence and strong passion to create social and economic impacts in their society besides being physically challenged have really inspired me to work for social cause in upcoming days.
Overall, Samarthanam trust has contributed a lot to create impact upon the lives of disabled, visually impaired and helpless people. After the journey of 18 years, it has now executed a wide range of projects from education to rehabilitation to serving the Mid-day meals to school going children. Providing education to disabled, helping and providing community based rehabilitation, providing technical education so that they can compete with other normal people in society and facilitating employment opportunities for them are the commendable impact that has been made by Samarthanam. It has become one of the leading organizations to help disabled people in India and have become the source of inspiration for all the development and social workers regarding how to inculcate disabled people within family and society and how they can live dignified life in their society.