Special help in virus fight in Dhanbad
At least 10 special children have decided to lend their support in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic through their creativity in Dhanbad.
The special children, who are mostly intellectually impaired, hearing impaired and orthopedically challenged, have under the guidance of special educator and speech therapist Akhlaque Ahmad already made more than 100 rakhis and plan to make over 300 more before Raksha Bandhan on August 3.
Ahmad works at the government resource centre for special children in Dhanbad and is also the founder of NGO Youth Concept.
“We had created rakhis using these same children in 2018 and had sold them in educational institutions and social organisations. However, we could not do it last year owing to resource crunch. I proposed the idea to the same children and discussed it with their parents and they readily agreed. We decided to contribute the money we get from the sale of the rakhis to the chief minister’s fund for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic,” Ahmad said.
The materials for preparing the rakhis are being provided by Ahmad himself.
“The special children are using wool, silk thread, colourful laces, beads, craft paper, adhesive, rice, coins, matchsticks and stickers to make rakhis. The rakhis had drawn a lot of appreciation from the residents in 2018. This year, too, these children are toiling hard to create beautiful rakhis for Raksha Bandhan,” Ahmad added.
The social worker said that unlike 2018, they had decided against fixing the price tag for the rakhis.
“We will not fix any price for the rakhis and instead approach prominent personalities such as academicians, traders, administrative officials and officials of Bharat Coking Coal Limited in the Dhanbad district and display the rakhis before them, explain our cause and collect whatever they give. We expect to collect nearly Rs 10,000 before Raksha Bandhan,” said Ahmad, who has over 10 years of experience as a special educator and is involved in sending special children to mainstream government and private schools.
Arpita Kumari, 15, an intellectually impaired student from Madhya Vidyalaya in Pathaldih (Dhanbad) and one of the special children involved in the project, said they started work at 9am every day and it continued well past noon.
“A few of us also work from home with the guidance provided by sir (Ahmad) through video calls,” Arpita said.
“We want to contribute to the government in whatever way we can in fighting Covid-19. We are enjoying preparing the rakhis,” said Nasreen Perveen, 15, a hearing impaired student of Class VIII at Millat Academy in Katras.
Ahmad said they would distribute the rakhis before Raksha Bandhan and plan to donate the collected amount to Dhanbad deputy commissioner Uma Shankar Singh as soon as possible.
“We know the extreme stress which the entire state is going through in terms of resources to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. We would like to complete the distribution of the rakhis before Raksha Bandhan and contribute the funds collected to the deputy commissioner. We know that the amount would be quite small but it involves the hard work of the special children who are also affected by the pandemic and want to help in arranging resources in their small way in the fight against the virus,” said Ahmad.