Avinash Barve, founder Ameya Palak Sanghatana on the Sangharsh Sanman award presented to him
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Avinash Barve, founder Ameya Palak Sanghatana on the Sangharsh Sanman award presented to him

Avinash Barve will be presented with the Sangharsh Sanman award, on Sunday, in memory of Muktangan Rehabilitation Centre’s founder, Dr Anita Awachat

pune Updated: Feb 10, 2019 17:15 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Agency
Pune,Karvenagar,Sangharsh Sanman
Avinash Barve(L) and Nanda Barve at their home in Karvenagar Pune(Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

Avinash Barve, 75, a teacher by profession has been working with disabled children for the past 25 years. He will be presented with the Sangharsh Sanman award, on Sunday, in memory of Muktangan Rehabilitation Centre’s founder, Dr Anita Awachat.

On receiving the award, Avinash shares, “I am fortunate to receive this award from Muktangan. I am so proud of their achievements. This will encourage me to do more good work.”

Special children need special care and moreover they need constant and undivided attention and support. While guardians and parents put in their dedication and efforts initially, gradually they tire off or give up. Owing to these issues, and trying to find a permanent solution to this problem, Ameya Palak Sanghatana was founded in 1991 in Khoni, Dombivali, Mumbai.

The institute was founded under the guidance of major Ganesh Krushnaji Kale, and it started working and functioning in 1996 when Kaustubh and Prakash were enrolled in it. Today, the Sanghatana has 10 people on staff and around 30 residents, aged between 19-60.

Astitva, a school for special children was there to educate them and create awareness during the day. However, after completing their education, the grown-ups had no place. This is when the idea of Ameya Palak Sanghatana was born. The idea was to have a home away for home for these special people. “To keep them safe, secure and to provide them a space that they can call home,” says Avinash.

Suchitra Khedekar, a parent to a special child, shares, “For a special parent, acceptance is the biggest and most difficult issue. So, with a place like this, it becomes easier for us to gradually put things in perspective.”

Nanda, wife of Avinash points out a special quality of the residents. “They don’t hold grudges. If two of them have fought, they forget about it and start playing together under the next 10 minutes. They are selfless.”

Avinash adds that the hostel is a way of assuring parents that their kids will be looked after even after they are no more.

He adds that sometimes the parents take them back home. However, after a few days the children request to be sent back to the hostel. “Here, they have a routine that revolves around them. Activities are tailored keeping their potential, likes and dislikes in mind. Hence, they feel more at home here than their actual home.

First Published: Feb 10, 2019 17:09 IST