iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

Collin Rodrigues, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, December 20, 2012
Residents of the home — consisting of paraplegics, quadriplegics, hemiplegics and those with spinal chord injuries — work round the year to create cribs, cards and candles which can add festive cheer to your house. What’s more, these items are priced a lot cheaper than what you would find at most retail outlets.

For example, a crib (Nativity scene) consisting of statues of Baby Jesus, Mother Mary and Saint Joseph, Three Kings and various animals would cost R700. At most other shops, it would set you back by at least R1,500. Candles are priced from R20-60, while handmade Christmas cards range from R10-20.

The income generated from the sale of these artifacts is used to sustain the daily expenses of the home. Though the home is run by Jesuit missionaries, the residents here are from various communities. In fact, they make artifacts all throughout the year for festivals like Raksha Bandhan and Diwali. Says Anand Patil, who is currently working on the Nativity scene of the crib, “I like working on the statues. There is so much to do, so it keeps me occupied all day.”

Anand was admitted to the home in 1991 after falling from the third floor of a Bhendi Bazaar building while painting it. The fall left him paralysed from the waist below. The reseidents here have been voluntarily admitted by their families because they are incurable or their near and dear ones have passed away. Says Sister Yvonne D’Mello, who manages the home, “The work that our residents do is part of the occupational therapy. It gives a new meaning to their life and is something for them to look forward to.”