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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Self Advocacy workshop at AIKYA

Self-advocacy refers to the civil rights movement for people with developmental disabilities, also called cognitive or intellectual disabilities, and other disabilities. It is also an important term in the disability rights movement, referring to people with disabilities taking control of their own lives, including being in charge of their own care in the medical system. The self-advocacy movement is  about people with disabilities speaking up for themselves. It means that although a person with a disability may call upon the support of others, the individual is entitled to be in control of their own resources and how they are directed. It is about having the right to make life decisions without undue influence or control by others.

AIKYA had Self Advocacy gathering on 24th, September. Ms. Parvathy Viswanathan spoke about how a gathering of 4000 children with ID at Valluvar Kottam in front of the then Chief Minister Mr. Karunanidhi had led to a grant of Rs.500 per month for persons with Inellectual challenges.

She also spoke about SASI (Self Advocate Society of India). Even though many parents seek guidance, when a program is organized very few turn up.

At the workshop, It was sad as well as inspiring to see a woman manage and help her disabled husband and disabled son. But sometimes when disabled people go for work, they are asked to clean toilets and do other menial jobs.

Anitha gave a few tips on communication skills. Bobby spoke a few words about self advocacy.

Bobby and Parvathy Viswanath

Monday, September 26, 2011

AIKYA Children get Certificates from ZICA

Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA) gave certificates and CD for 10 children of AIKYA who completed an animation workshop.

School Bus of AIKYA

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Art Tools Workshop at AIKYA on 8th October

rt Therapy helps to improve the emotional well being of a person. Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy. The process of creating or making different forms of art is therapeutic. So, it is "Art as Therapy."

There are simple tools to practice Art Therapy. The common ones are Mandala, Magazine photo collage, Masks, and Art Journal. Anyone can learn or practice Art Therapy. There is no minimum educational qualification or drawing skills that a person needs. The client needs to understand the techniques and learn to use colors and other art aids to express themselves.

Entry Fee : Rs 300
Contact      : 9444960643,
Venue         : 2/9, Karpagambal Nagar Main Road, Luz, Mylapore,
                       Chennai - 600 004

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pratham Books Story Telling on 24th at AIKYA, Chennai

Pratham Books Banner at AIKYA Centre

The storytelling session went on well at the AIKYA centre in Chennai. The audience of 20 people included special children, parents, and special educators. All the stories were narrated in Tamil and Tanglish! Pratham Books' Champion Anitha started the session with a brief about Girl Child Day. Next she told the story "Subbu, the Signal." At the end of the story, the children recollected the traffic lights of green, orange, and red and what each color meant.

The next story was "Ting Tong." The boy in the story tries to sleep but is disturbed by various noises. At the end of the story, the children were asked about the various noises that disturbed their sleep. One boy was quick to mention "generator noise"...rrrrrrrrrrr..... Another boy barked like a dog. Ting Tong story was a favorite of parents too. Parents felt that the story was simple and children could easily understand it.

Story Teller Anitha with the audience
The next story was "En Udal Pesuvathai Kelungal"( Hear my body speak). At the end of the story, one of the boys told a lot of noises like coughing, sneezing, snoring, and clicking fingers etc that was not part of the original version :)

A boy answering questions after 'Subbu the Signal' story

After the warm up with the three short stories, everyone was geared up to hear the "Ulta Pulta Girl" story. Everyone laughed when they heard that the Ulta Pulta girl could not bear the stink of dog poo.

The children were glued to their seats and listened to the stories keenly. Parents were eager to know where they could purchase Pratham books in Chennai. On the whole, it was a successful event. Three cheers to Pratham Books and all the participants.

Video: Excerpts from the Storytelling session:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Story Telling for Children on 24th at AIKYA Centre

To celebrate International Girl Child Day on 24th September, Pratham Books' Champions will conduct a storytelling session. The story is being written today and tomorrow by four women authors and it is about a girl who goes Ulta Pulta. What happens when she is walking around like a bat? A lot of excitement. Don't miss this beautiful story unfold in front of you in a live session. And many other stories too.

Venue: AIKYA - Centre for the Different

Date | Time : 24th September, Saturday | 1.30 pm onwards

Address: 2/9, Karpagambal Nagar Main Road, Luz, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004. 9444960643/9791172475

Pratham Book Champion: Anitha.S

Entry is free and ALL are Welcome.

AIKYA participates in Community of Practice(CoP) for Disabled

CIOSA organized a CoP for disabled on 22nd September, 2011. Thirteen activists participated in the discussion. Gopi of Nethrodhaya and Ms. Parvathy of AIKYA were among the participants.

Lack of database and details/statistics about disabled population was a hiccup. Further issues like asking for reservation etc depends on a well-maintained computerized database. A good e-governance system for disabled must be implemented.

There are 200 wards in Chennai(Tamilnadu).  An active community inside each ward will interact with the corporation to check if a disabled-friendly government school exists, and if a hospital exists to give medical certificates for disabled and more. So, a role-model ward for rehabilitation of disabled, one inside and one outside Chennai has to be created.

Many NGOs are not aware of the numerous central and state govt schemes that exist. So, they do not apply and get grants. Last year, Vidyakar of Udhavum Karangal was the only NGO from Chennai who got a major grant.

Disabled should be trained  in new fields like cellphone repair instead of sticking to just candle making etc.

DDRO office has only 6 employees instead of 17 employees. The budget for disabled group has been reduced from 237 crores to 166 crores. This reduction is due to lack of awareness and lack of manpower to implement good schemes.

A decision to meet the commissioner has been made. Prior to meeting the commissioner an awareness platform with advertisements in Thinathanthi, Suryan FM , and a NGO meet will happen.

A Guide for Disbaled - Schemes and Office Addresses

Saturday, September 17, 2011

AIKYA initiates Newborn Screening Program

AIKYA inaugurated the newborn screening program along with Mediscan and Lions club Dist 324-A5 at Mylapore on 17th September, 2011. Lion Parvathy Viswanth, Pediatrician Dr. Sudha from MediScan and Lions club Governor Mr. Nandagopoal spoke during the inauguration.

Lion Parvathy Viswanath introduces the program

Newborn screening is done by taking four drops of blood from the heel of a new born using a special syringe after 48 hours and within seven days( 1 week) after birth. The consent of parents to conduct the test is very important. In India now 5 disorders are found using newborn screening. MediScan is currently doing new born screening in 17 hospitals in Chennai and one in Ooty. Dr. Suresh of MediScan is the pioneer in India for newborn screening.

Lion Governor Nanadagopal inaugrated New Born Screening

MediScan offers to test adrenalin and thyroid levels in newborns at the rate of Rs. 750. Testing for all five disorders costs Rs.1200. Adrenalin disorder can lead to problems in genitalia developments and usually  occur due to marriages within same family. This symptom is prevalent in the Nellore-Tamilnadu border. Thyroid related problems can lead to mental disorders, slow learning, bloated body, memory loss and more. This symptom is prevalent in the Vandaloor belt. Early detection can cure an abnormality or atleast reduce the impact of a disease.

Dr.Sudha spoke about New Born Screening

In USA, they test for 41 disorders. In USA, 1 out of every 4000 children test positive. In India, 1 out of every 1000 children test positive!. In India, you need to increase and spread awareness about the importance of newborn screening.

Video: Excerpts of Speech by Nandagopal and Dr.Sudha

Let us know if you need to address a crowd of 25 to 30 people about NewBorn screening. AIKYA can arrange for the event. You can also sponsor a newborn screening. Mail or call 9444960643.

Monday, September 12, 2011

AIKYA participates in Community of Practice(CoP) for Children

AIKYA participated in the CoP for children organized by CIOSA. Representatives of Five NGOs including AID India and Jeeva Jyothi were present.

The members wanted separate list of homes/orphanages and activity-project-based children NGOs from CIOSA. Homes needed a constant source of funds as they had permanent residents who had to be fed and educated.Other NGOs just worked on a project-to-project basis.

It is very difficult to find and sustain employees of NGOs. CIOSA plans to start a union for these unorganized sector of NGO workers.

Prasanna of CIOSA told that Sep-Dec was a season of events, exhibitions, and festivals in Chennai. So, you can approach event organizers to share say 5% of their earnings with a NGO. It was part of PR initiative of many event organizers. Musician Harris Jayaraj has such a pact with Ekam foundation.

AIKYA offered to conduct screenings at schools for learning disabilities and also early intervention.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Battle of Buffet - Fundraising for Special Kids

We are delighted to invite you to participate in the Battle of Buffet. This event, sponsored by Oriental Cuisines offers you a lavish spread of mouth watering dishes from Chennai’s top 5 star restaurants on 9th October 2011. It will be held at the Nandambakkam Trade Center.

Chefs of leading 5 star hotels and their teams will put together their best buffet and throw it open to the city. Close to 4000 Chennaities are expected to attend the event. Leading musicians and famous artists from the cine industry will entertain the audience.

Pay Rs. 5000 to participate. You will help a deserving child at AIKYA !

About the event
• A gala evening of fun, food and entertainment completely sponsored by the Oriental Cuisines.
• No event related costs to us
• 100% of what we raise goes to AIKYA
• We need to reach out to at least 20 people like you to be able to participate in this event.

For more details contact :
Tel: (O) 91-44-24612668
Mobile: 9444960643

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

AIKYA Founder Parvathy Viswanth Speaks about AIKYA

Parvathy Viswanth, Director of AIKYA, speaks about the philosophy of AIKYA and their work with thousands of special children. Parvathy Viswanth has won several awards such as the Woman of the Year 2000 award from American Biographical Institute, Who's Who and many more. She was nominated as a board member of the Tamilnadu Welfare Board for the Disabled. And she considers it as a great honour. She has organized job fairs and marriage engagement ceremonies (Naveena Suyamvaram) for the disabled.

Lion Parvathy also organized two events that entered the Limca Book of Records. The first event was at Nehru Stadium were 11,000 special children gathered and did Yoga and Painting. The second event was on World Service Day were a mega size cake was cut in front of 1000 children from orphanages.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Products made by the young adults of AIKYA

The young adultsof AIKYA  are churning out new products from their workshop in Raja Annamalaipuram, Chennai. They make areca leaf plates, towels, phenyl, computer incense, garlands, gift cards, flowers, bracelets, and anklets. The price ranges from Rs.15 to Rs. 80. Have a look at the products and call 9444960643 or mail

Flowers for Flower Vases

AIKYA Founder Parvathy Viswanath about her son Prabhakar

Parvathy Viswanath explains how her son overcame his disability and is working in the mainstream now. He won a President Award for being a Role Model to special children.