It is true that God has created everyone equally. But sometimes some special people need some angels to be with them, and help them to make their lives better.
It was on June 1, 2005 that a wise lady started an organization with a strong desire to do something for the differently-abled people. She was Ms Rupa Hazarika who started a shelter home called 'Destination' in Guwahati keeping in mind the sufferings faced by the specially abled people. The noble act by Ms Hazarika was supported by many and the shelter home became bigger and bigger and which now accommodates a total number of 120 beneficiaries.
'Destination' now has three branches across Guwahati. One is at Bhagaduttapur and the other two are in the Dakshin Goan area. Among these 3 homes, one is allotted for the children (from 6 to 18 years), the other two by middle-aged people and adults (old aged above 40). There is around 35 dedicated staff working in various departments as special educators, wardens, supervisors, nurses, helpers, cooks and security personals.
In order to carry forward the great deed towards humanity, the organization receives 'Grant-In Aid' from the Government and the funding for the children comes from the State Child Protection Society at Beltola. In some cases, it happens that the parents of the family members of the special child/person voluntarily come to leave them at the house. They then give a monthly remuneration for their child.
Ms Chumki Borah, supervisor of the home told Fit Northeast, "The residents at the home are given various vocational training and we even have a stall named 'Shilpa' at the Shilpagram Cultural Complex, where we display their handmade creations. We even sell those products and take orders in bulks".
Ms Borah added that they have a special school that provides vocational training to the residents, with the help of the 7 special educators they have. "We train up the people as per their capacity to cope-up and learn. If we see that the person is showing chances of improvement, we assign them tasks as per their areas of interest. We have 2 teachers in various departments. The female teacher trains the girls and women and the male teacher takes care of the boys", she said.
"It is a harsh reality that most of the people we have in our home are either rescued by the police or have been abandoned by their parents. . ."Explaining the situation, she said, "It is a harsh reality that most of the people we have in our home are either rescued by the police or have been abandoned by their parents. Whenever we get information about any new member of our house, we first try to take their health and family history and then make them a part of us as to ensure their life-long security at our place. We take their responsibility for their entire life".
But sometimes even such incidents have happened that after a long phase of treatment, someone suddenly regains his/her lost memory and wishes to return home. Then the authorities at Destination send them back to their respective homes if they wish to. "But our main aim is to give a new life to each and everyone so that they can carry forward their lives by engaging in some activity/work which will help them get financial outcomes and lead a healthy life ahead. In some cases, if the parent of any children or member of the house dies, then we keep them in our home for their lifetime", added Ms Borah.
Being a health portal, Fit Northeast tried to know from them regarding some of the health related challenges they face. In this context, Ms Borah said, "Health is the department where we face maximum issue. At times, it becomes very difficult to take the people to the hospital. Every time, even if we have to take them out for a simple blood test, we have to carry two attendants with them".
She added that they have permanently appointed a full-time nurse to take care of the people. Moreover, the price of the medicines is very high. The cost of psychiatric medicines of all the patients is around Rs 25,000 per month.
Thanking Dr Ganesh Saikia, the Joint Director of Health Department, Ms Borah said that Dr Saikia has always been very kind and helpful to them and have helped them by providing the primary and basic medicines.
When this reporter inquired about the kinds of preventive measures that were taken during the Covid period, Ms Borah said that as soon as they came to know about Covid, they immediately prepared an isolation room for the inmates. As soon as they got the news of one of their staff getting infected a few months ago, they immediately told her to be in isolation. One of the patients who showed symptoms and was later diagnosed positive was immediately shifted to the hospital. Even now if someone complains of having any kind of problems like flu or fever, they tell them not to come to the centre.