Get-hooked June 21, 2020
Sreesh Mandiram seeks to build social responsibility towards disabled kids with new initiative
Tirupati-based NGO Sreesh Mandiram seeks to find different ways to empower children and adults with disabilities. It has started a new initiative called FIVE HEARTS that aims to build social responsibility towards people with disabilities. Find out how.
As parents to two children with disabilities, Madhu Babu and D Varija hope their children will find lifelong support in the world outside their homes. A desire that led them to start Sreesh Mandiram, an NGO in Tirupati that has launched many community development projects to empower adults and children with disabilities.
Their latest project is called FIVE HEARTS and is targeted towards children with disabilities. “As parents we look for friends for our children and when children without disabilities play with disabled kids, it helps build inclusion and a greater sense of social responsibility”, says Madhu.
Towards building inclusion
FIVE HEARTS takes this idea further. “Five Hearts is like a social responsibility initiative where five schoolchildren become the five hearts for one special needs child. They come to the centre on occasions like birthdays and organise celebrations and give small gifts. This will be sponsored by an adult”, says Madhu.
So far two children have become a part of the Five Hearts project and the sponsors are NRIs based in the United States.
Ramakanth Yenugu, one of the sponsors, says he got interested in the FIVE HEARTS project after he visited the Sreesh Mandiram. He is sponsoring a child called Jhansidhar with Down syndrome.
This will create a second parent for the special child along with a team of others and will make the kid feel supported. He will feel he has people to talk to him, play with him, etc. When they see so many people supporting them, they won’t get depressed and will be happy and confident. This must be made a part of regular school activities so that children without disabilities understand the need to interact and engage. – Ramakanth Yenugu, IT Engineer
Another sponsor Kasthuri Kona was drawn to the idea as she had always wanted to adopt. “There is a need to make these children feel included and having a few friends come and play periodically, will brighten their day”, says Kasthuri, who is an engineer. “All children are looking for an emotional boost and Five Hearts is a great way to do it”.
Madhu plans to tie up with mainstream schools in Tirupati and across India for the project.
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