20 disabled youth clean public buses in Kerala on strike day
Parivar is an organization that empowers people with intellectual disabilities. Last Wednesday was a strike day across India. A group of twenty youngsters, along with their parents and siblings cleaned over five KSRTC buses in Kozhikode. They ensured that both the interiors and exteriors of the buses are cleaned very well. Their initiative received a lot of applause.
Those who have seen the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses wouldn’t miss the heaps of dirt on it. These buses that travel long distances are parked in garages without being cleaned for days. That is why a group of twenty people with intellectual disabilities from Kozhikode decided to do their bit to clean KSRTC buses in Kozhikode. These youngsters cleaned both the interiors and exteriors of over five buses on a strike day last Wednesday, an initiative which was applauded.
Drive to empower disabled youth
The cleaning drive was organized by ‘Parivar’, a center that empowers people with intellectual disabilities. Their Kozhikode wing has been active in social work since the past many months. Their latest initiative received a lot of applause.
Commander Bijur, President of Parivar says that their organization is dedicated towards reaching out to people with intellectual disabilities.
We have been training youngsters with intellectual disabilities to become independent and self-reliant. Our main focus is to train them in life skills and improving social behavior as well. They must learn to work and do things on their own in order to have a safer future. In Kozhikode collectorate, we have started small KIOSK’s run by our team which gives them good income. Our latest initiative of cleaning KSRTC buses was done in collaboration with a few other organizations. We had nearly twenty people with disabilities including autism. The KSRTC officials were also very supportive- Commander Bijur, President, Parivar.
FULFILLING DAY FOR DISABLED YOUTH
Youngsters aged between twenty to forty years carried all the cleaning equipment’s to the bus station. They were accompanied by their parents and siblings too. The group started off by dusting the exteriors before cleaning the interiors.
They started off by around 9am and the work went on for three hours. The scorching heat was not a barrier for these youngsters to do their bit for society.
P Sikkander is the Vice-President of Parivar in Kozhikode. He is also the Kozhikode Convener of National Trust LLC which was also part of the initiative. “We want the society to know that nothing is impossible for people with intellectual disabilities. They can do everything like any other person. Our members have been employed at various places and they are doing their jobs very well. This cleaning drive was an initiative to make them self-confident. We have done this before also. This time the KSRTC department approached us to do this. We wholeheartedly accepted it. We do not want sympathies. Society must accept our youngsters for the work that they do”, says Sikkander.
The ‘Parivar’ team had earlier organized a road safety awareness campaign in Kozhikode city. “We call them intellectually disabled. But they had to give awareness about road safety to a lot of people”, adds Sikkander.