A visit that opened our eyes, moved us, left us speechless

Spice of Life: The single-day experience of myriad emotions taught us to be kind, empathetic and to have an attitude of gratitude
I was overwhelmed by the grit of the ‘enlightened’ minds. For them, life was all black but it was not dark as they had ‘illuminated’ it by cultivating ‘extra’ sensory perceptions and skills to pave the way for their day to day living. (Representative photo)
I was overwhelmed by the grit of the ‘enlightened’ minds. For them, life was all black but it was not dark as they had ‘illuminated’ it by cultivating ‘extra’ sensory perceptions and skills to pave the way for their day to day living. (Representative photo)
Published on Dec 22, 2021 07:18 PM IST
Copy Link
ByDr Narinder Arora

Mid-career conferences are normally mundane affairs, but certain meets leave long-lasting impressions.

In May 2001, a regional conference to update certain aspects of disability evaluation and newer standard operating guidelines to take care of persons who were challenged physically, visually, mentally or hearing impaired was organised by the Rehabilitation Council of India at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh. The conference was attended by 100-odd participants, comprising doctors and administrators of the region. The first two days were reserved for lectures on the theme of the conference, while the third and final day was reserved for a field visit.

On the final day, our first stop was at the institute of the visually challenged, where we were received and ushered in by the principal. The students were being imparted vocational training so as to learn requisite skills to become self-sufficient. Their skilful mastery over Braille impressed one and all. The visit ended with a musical rendition by the students. As we were walking out, I was overwhelmed by the grit of the ‘enlightened’ minds. For them, life was all black but it was not dark as they had ‘illuminated’ it by cultivating ‘extra’ sensory perceptions and skills to pave the way for their day to day living. Instead of getting discouraged by their difficulties, they had triumphed over it with hope and determination.

After that we were taken to the Nevedac Prosthetic Centre, where the physically challenged, amputees or post poliotic patients were being rehabilitated. There were two youngsters who had recently lost their limbs in accidents and were being tested with prosthetic fits. Their world had come crashing down on their ‘feet’ literally. They were to gather all their determination to overcome the loss and be up and about. The centre had employees who were physically challenged and they were contributing in their own limited way and getting remuneration in return, to have some financial independence.

The next stop was at the institute of the hearing impaired. The conversation there was with sign language and that singular acquisition was now giving direction to the lives of the inmates there.

Finally, at the valedictory function in the evening, representatives of sub groups were to speak and they went on to cite the content of the lectures to arrangements to logistics etc. Our sub group representative’s turn came last and his brief remarks were, “Today’s visit to various centres opened our eyes, moved us and left us speechless.”

This was received with pin drop silence for a minute after he had finished as everyone felt thankful to the Almighty. The single-day experience of myriad emotions taught us to be kind, empathetic and to have an attitude of gratitude.

We hardly count our blessings and constantly complain about what we don’t possess. US radio host Woodrow M Kroll rightly said: “Concentrate on counting your blessings and you’ll have little time to count anything else.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has literally brought us to our knees and has re-emphasised that every breath is a blessing and we need to stay optimistic. We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses. The choice is ours. narin58@gmail.com

The writer is a Panchkula-based freelance contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • In Connaught Place, a tree, outside the N block subway, is loaded with a multitude of jamuns.

    Delhiwale: Jamunji, the newest sequel

    It is good to patronise the jamun hawkers, but you can also pick up the jamuns for free. These days, many Delhi pathways look like blood-splattered battlefields with the tiny pulpy fruit fallen from trees, their innards and purple juices squashed out by the pedestrians’ feet.

  • The Delhi transport department faces a major challenge of replacing 99% of its fleet of 3,760 buses by September 2025, when they will be taken off roads on account of their age.

    Delhi govt to buy 1,950 buses, first lot to arrive in August

    After the cabinet meeting, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the new buses will start arriving from August 2022 and by September 2023, all buses, including the 1,500 electric and 450 CNG-run air-conditioned buses, will be inducted into the city fleet.

  • Protesters owing allegiance to the Dogra Front, Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal raised slogans against the Udaipur tailor’s brutal killing and demanded strict action against the perpetrators, in Jammu. (shutterstock/ Representational image)

    Protests erupt in Jammu over Udaipur tailor’s brutal killing

    Strong protests by pro-Jammu parties erupted in Jammu on Wednesday over barbaric murder of tailor Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur. The protesters owing allegiance to the Dogra Front, Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal raised slogans against the brutal killing and demanded strict action against the perpetrators. They also demanded sacking of the Ashok Gehlot-led government over the deteriorating law and order situation in Rajasthan. The protesters also burnt effigies of the two attackers.

  • Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha said the meeting was held to discuss the management of Amarnath Yatra. (ANI File Photo)

    Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor meets political leaders, discusses Amarnath Yatra

    Jammu & Kashmir lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha held a meeting with several political leaders of the union territory at Raj Bhawan in Srinagar on Wednesday evening. The meeting was held to discuss the current situation in J&K and the Amarnath Yatra that will begin on Thursday. The Lt Governor said the meeting was held to discuss the management of Amarnath Yatra. PDP chief spokesman Suhail Bukhari, however, didn't say whether pDP president Mehbooba Mufti will attend the meeting.

  • Pilgrims at the Baltal base camp before proceeding to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, in Baltal on Wednesday. (AFP)

    Amarnath Yatra: Amid tight security, first batch of pilgrims reach Baltal

    Amid tight security first batch of yatris reached Baltal on Wednesday, one of the base camps for the Amarnath Yatra, as the pilgrims will have a night halt at the camp. On Thursday morning they will be leaving for the holy cave. At several places, documents were checked thoroughly. Every year the annual Amarnath yatra is taken from two routes via Baltal in Ganderbal and Pahalgam in Anantnag district. Some pilgrims were busy chanting hymns.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, June 30, 2022