Embracing lives, together
Society is an integral part of everyone’s lives. To live a content life, being socially aware is important; striking the right balance in how society shapes your life. This is important when you are playing the role of a parent, even more, when your child is “special”. The very little benefit of the doubt is provided in terms of their social awareness.
Expectations invariably include that the child will be able to at least attain the parents’ level of socio-cultural accomplishment. What people fail to realize is, it is not really about the severity of the disability, but the importance of family in places society and how others perceive them.
Bridging this gap of awareness and embracing the idea of acceptance, we introduce “The SpecialWay“ an aware society to welcome the specially-abled.
We’re a group of passionate environment activists united by our mission to create awareness of present environmental threats, develop and implement solutions. Driven by our vision to foster a sense of connection to our natural environment, we begin by educating ourselves and making sustainable choices. It is only after this stage that we begin to spread the word around and motivate others to make sustainable choices.
With that in mind, we bring to you ‘Greenway’, a space that reflects our work over the years and records our upcoming projects!
With your support, we intend to reach out to more minds who are environmentally conscious and thereby create a community; A community, where each one of us is driven by the motive of making our earth great again.
SVYM Palliative Care Program organised a door-to-door survey in the most populated ward in Mysore, ward #54, Shanthinagar to find patients in need of Palliative Care. The purpose of the survey was to create awareness about SVYM and its palliative care program to find bedridden patients in ward no.54 and to expand their program, and to enroll more needy patients. Along with team Palliative Care, staff from other programs/projects participated in this Survey and as a team, we were able to reach around 5200 + houses and touched a population of around 25000+ people.
On account of children’s day, Project ReachOut took time to organise a drawing competition for 30 specially-abled kids and it was utter bliss to watch those gleeful faces, colour stained hands, and vibrant minds pouring out their creativity on paper with their hearts and souls. It was delightful to award them with medals for their hard work and their portrayal of art. Our volunteers had a good time watching the kids enjoy their day with their parents and teachers.
Together at Decathlon in association with the Devdhan foundation, a foundation for differently-abled children, Independence day was celebrated with lots of zeal. It was a beautiful day with children displaying their creativity in the drawing competition and dance performances. The children and parents enjoyed a game of musical chairs. It is always pure bliss to spend time with them.
Funfair for specially-abled kids was organized in Decathlon as part of the annual sports event, “Sports Utsav” by PRO. Colourful events brought together all the gifted kids from in and around Mysore.
PRO volunteers set up stalls which included fun-filled games. The excitement in the air, the awesome music to which the kids had a blast dancing, the adorable smile on their faces, and that feeling of joy from their parents made the event even more memorable.
‘SANGAM’ proved to be nothing short of a fun-filled day, with razzmatazz everywhere, fascinating everyone present. Special schools like Aashianaa, Devdan, Mythri, Mathrumandali, and Sandhya made their presence bring their adorable innocence along.
The chief guest, Dr. Sashikhala Ramnath was her usual charismatic self. Cynthia Lingham ma’am and her presence motivated us to work harder for the betterment of society. Dance and song performance by the kids as well as the volunteers kept everyone on their feet and shooed away boredom. Momentoes and prizes in recognition of special talents were handed out by the dignitaries. The event was capped by a signature song duly performed by all the volunteers along with everyone present there.
A webinar on ‘Behavioural issues among specially-abled children’ was organized for the parents of specially-abled children. The focus was on the issues caused due to the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID 19 and the effects of the lockdown on the behavior of kids with special needs. To discuss and guide the parents of the kids, we had with us Mrs. Meghana T, an Assistant Professor in PG Department of Psychology, Teresian College, Mysuru. Her experience and insights were a guiding light for parents to cope with the situation and overcome the issues they had been facing.
Working mainly for the empowerment of specially-abled kids, we believe that dedication along with proper knowledge is required to work effectively and efficiently. To provide adequate knowledge to volunteers about various disorders, a 3-day webinar was conducted by AIISH.
Various topics which were covered are: communication disorders, their causes, and cures, depth of emotional impacts on a child and remedial education for the child to deal with such trauma and also various challenges that the parents of such kids face and how to conquer these problems.
Project ReachOut in collaboration with Devdan Foundation organized an online interactive program where the speaker, Mrs. Usha Joyappa addressed the parents regarding, accepting the child with his/her talents and flaws, friendly gestures, involving them actively in day to day activities, and not overdoing anything.
On 27th Oct 2019, PRO joined hands with ACHHALA in their third plogging pursuit: Plog and Talk, which focused on the reduction of single-use plastics, waste segregation, waste disposal, and sustainable lifestyle. The Sunday plogs were open to all and every week we were joined by amazing sets of people. In the course of four Sundays, covering one place at a time, we plogged our ways through the streets of Bogadi, Udaygiri, KD road, and around SJCE, with hopes of creating awareness, interacting with as many people as possible, and understanding the conditions better. After we were done filling our gunny bags with a surprisingly huge amount of plastic waste, we’d talk and reflect on things we encountered that day. Every participant had the opportunity to raise issues, brainstorm solutions, and exchange ideas. Some of the most valuable inputs were given by tipper drivers and Mr. Ayub Khan, the corporator, and Former-Mayor of Mysore City Corporation.
Keeping in mind the very fact that India still witnesses thousands of people wasting food on the real sad part, India also witnesses deaths due to starvation and issues like malnutrition among the kids. Project ReachOut came up with this idea of spreading awareness regarding the same with a new, catchy, meme-making competition on the occasion of World Food Day. The competition was conducted in association with Instagram pages like Mysuru Foodie, Justice JC, and We the JCians. The top memes of the winners and runners were featured on the official Instagram page of Project ReachOut and were gifted with food coupons.
A two-day online workshop was conducted by the team, the agenda was to invoke the gardener in everyone. People must realize that they don’t need to be super prudent in gardening to have a mini garden for themselves and that you can start from scratch and turn into a good gardener in a very short duration of time.
Day 1 of the workshop aimed to promote the practice of Hydroponics. Hydroponics is the practice of growing the plants in just water using a less rooting medium and an abundant supply of nutrients. The speaker for the workshop Mr. Sumukh. S the Founder, CEO of Microfarm gave some tips, and detailed information about Hydroponics setups and the steps to be followed to set up one on our own.
Day 2 of the workshop was to promote a sense of independence among the gardeners. It was aimed to share tips about ‘how to grow your veggies at home’. The main speaker for this workshop Mrs. Vidyashree herself has been cultivating vegetables, fruits, and flowers in her garden. The session was motivating and was successful in empowering everyone to kickstart our role as a gardener with just 1 plant in a small pot.
A home gardening contest was also conducted where the participant had to take us on a tour through his/her backyard garden. A video of a duration of approximately 30-45 seconds was supposed to be shot by the participants and sent across. The name of the plant and the way the plants were organically cultivated were some of the key features which were to be discussed in the video. The winners and runners were featured on the official Instagram page of Project ReachOut.
On the eve of Animal Welfare Day, the team had organised an interactive session with a local snake rescuer Mr. Surya Keerthi. It was our pleasure listening to his thrilling experiences and his vast knowledge on this topic. No two experiences were the same, but all of them were spellbinding. He advised the participants of the event to never blindly kill a snake. Instead, upon spotting a snake, he insisted on immediately contacting a snake rescuer to rescue them.
Food is one of the most basic needs of life after air and water. But nowadays, it is a resource that cannot escape adulteration. To discuss the same, we had Mrs. Chetana from CFTRI, Mysuru with us. She also gave us some insights into nutrition and food. The webinar also had a dedicated myth-busting section. It was held to mark the occasion of Food Day by the Project ReachOut team.
It’s a sad reality that our planet can produce only a finite amount of resources which is not promising as we only have one Earth. Keeping in mind the fact that these resources are limited and must be preserved, the team of Project ReachOut organized a webinar on “Zero Waste Lifestyle”.
The Webinar was conducted by Chandana G, an environmental engineer in the Urban Governance Department. The participants learned about various ways wherein they could reduce the production of waste and conserve the resources. They were encouraged and guided to follow a sustainable and low-impact lifestyle that will contribute to a better tomorrow.
This initiative was aimed at collecting old books from various sources and donating them to orphanages, old age homes, remote areas, and villages so that the sheer joy of learning could be unfurled further.
Project ReachOut in association with Dwija Heritage Society had set up a stall at the open street festival to sell handmade arts and crafts made by specially-abled children and managed to raise a good amount of funds. Our volunteers performed a street play focusing on mental health issues, and what we, as a society can do to help those suffering from them. Performing on stage was an experience highly valued by the volunteers of PRO. This performance was the main attraction which brought awareness among the crowd.
A candlelight vigil started from JSS medical college gate wherein hundreds of people came together to raise their voice for justice for Asifa. The little girl who went to graze her horses in the forest came back days later as a crumpled body smeared with blood. Eyes bulged out, lips turned black, scratches and bites on her face scars on her cheeks, how could even the most heinous mind go this far?!
Even before her milk teeth fell out, she was drugged, sedated, raped, and held captive in a holy place that had witnessed the brutality and the helpless screams in absolute silence. How was that innocent bud being able to go through such torture?
For a family that lives under an open sky with a herd of goats and horses, is Justice too costly to afford? Her cry leaves us haunted, her death demands Justice!
PRO, doing its little for the cause, hoping that the cause would be fulfilled.
Breast cancer is the most coming cancer in women and rarely occurs in men. More than 1 million cases of breast cancer are recorded in India per year. Even though a huge number of people are affected annually, very few are aware of it.
PRO being the cause partner, performed a street play in the event “Cyclothon- 2018” held as a part of Jayciana, the annual college fest of SJCE. The volunteers of PRO participated enthusiastically in the street play which depicted the importance of awareness required on breast cancer for all the sectors of society and the need for not just early diagnosis and treatment but also constant care and support from their family.
It is evident from the daily news headlines that a large number of women in India are a victim of harassment and abuse. So, to take a stand for them, the team commemorated the celebration of Women’s Day. A three-minute flash mob was conducted where the volunteers portrayed the importance of women in society by dancing with full energy and enthusiasm. Women Empowerment and Gender Equality were the main messages which were conveyed through this event.
This lockdown has not done any favors to our mental health, and not all of us know how to truly take care of our mental health. Keeping that in mind, we organized a webinar on “Depression and Adaptation to a Healthy Lifestyle”.
The webinar, conducted by Dr. Manu Anand, a consultant psychiatrist, and doctor, was extremely eye-opening. Among other things, depression and its causes were discussed, concerning all age groups. Moreover, he shared valuable tips on how to identify if someone is suffering from it and how to help, emphasizing the importance of professional psychiatrists.
Diya sale is one of the most important annual fundraising events that brings together many of our volunteers and students of special schools working in harmony. This synergy results in the beautiful bedazzled customised Diyas. Hundreds of these Diyas are made every year and sold out during the festival of lights, to many satisfied customers all over the city. The customers get to choose from the plethora of designs and can also order specific designs. The funds are used for various causes like paying school fees for an underprivileged kid, donating to schools for the specially-abled, orphanages, etc.
This was an event conducted on the occasion of the ethnic day celebration at ATME College, Mysore. We Reachers wanted to make this occasion a little more special for them. We prepared props and opened a photo booth at an affordable price to click pictures. We had also set up a jukebox where students could request songs and dance to them. The idea of this event was to reach the young crowd who would aid us in fundraising. With each event, we learn something new and this event got us Reachers to put on our creative caps and revamp a college event, something that we had never done before.
Jaen Baptiste Legouve says, “A brother is a friend given by nature.” But we took it one step ahead and tried to make it a reality. Rakshabandhan-2019 was a successful event in making 2 brothers smile with one Rakhi. The event was conducted for over a week at the beginning of August till the day of Rakshabandhan where many of our volunteers poured in their creativity and marketing skills to design and sell handmade custom rakhis. The colourful bands being brought to life made us realise the strong bonds that were being formed along with the impact that that bond can have on each other. “What was the best part!?” you ask? Well, the rakhis were mostly made out of eco-friendly and recyclable materials which cost only ₹20- ₹50
The Golden Ticket event was an event organised during Jayciana (college fest of SJCE). It was a simple lucky dip event; the money raised from those tickets was used to help special children. Volunteers worked hard to publicize the event and sell tickets. The event received a huge response. On the day of Jayciana, 3 winners for the lucky dip were announced. This was one of the most successful fundraising activities conducted by PRO so far.
This unprecedented pandemic, coupled with the strict lockdown, made it impossible for the daily wage workers to find work. With no source of income, they had found it hard to buy daily essentials. That is why we at PRO worked towards sourcing food for the underprivileged during these tough times.
To help them out of this crisis, we did multiple rounds of donation campaigns, and with the money raised, we were able to serve 15,000 families. This showed that with the right belief, nothing is impossible.
Holding the tricolor under the streetlights with words of silence written on the whiteboards, volunteers marched from Mysuru Palace North Gate through Urs Road and Maharaja grounds in the evening to pay deep condolences and respect to all the Jawans who lost their lives and many others who were injured in the terror attack of Jammu and Kashmir, Pulwama district. Around 1000 people dressed in black including college students and senior citizens from all over Mysore joined us in the silent procession organised by DWIJA Conservation Society of India and Cultural Heritage. The march ended with paying the martyrs the homage with flowers and lit candles. The District Security System helped and supported us throughout the march.
The ramp at Jaganmohan palace came alive with lots of colors, pomp, and style. Unlike any other fashion ramp walks, the models made quite an entrance in, guess what, yes, wheelchairs!
The “Fashionista 2k19 – See the abled, not the label” was conducted by Destinigo in association with Project ReachOut. The event was focused on spreading the message of inclusiveness and providing equal opportunity to everyone. The auditions, conducted before the event, saw 158 participants. The event was inaugurated by the former Indian Blind Cricket team captain, Shekar Naik, Para shooter Nagendra, President of Mysore Travels, Prashanth B. S., and actor Roshini Prakash.
Most of us would love to stay in fashion and set a few trends. But what about those who look forward to a piece of clothing that might just be good enough to protect them from the cold winter nights? Clothes are the basic requirement for survival. Diwali teaches us to glow the light to fight against darkness. So we at PRO this Diwali, made sure many of them had a Happy Diwali and their houses were filled with lights of happiness. A campaign for collecting old and reusable clothes was conducted throughout October along with the fundraising event, Diyas Speak. The volunteers were happy to collect more than just a few bags full of clothes that were given to people living on the streets and orphanages.
A team of 5 volunteers went to the affected areas during the time of the incident. Volunteers were taught how to put down fire immediately by the rangers. Volunteers succeeded in restricting the localities from not putting out the fire and rescuing the people in need. It was a task that required audacity and our volunteers went ahead and did it. A Lot of plants and trees were rescued from fire during the process and we saved many animals too.
During floods in Kerala and Coorg, volunteers went around the market in Udayagiri and Shantinagar where people started donating items like biscuits, sanitary pads, clothes, blankets, and water bottles. All of them were loaded into a mini truck and sent to Columbia Asia Hospital, where the trucks were being loaded to send them to relief centers.
The PR team of PRO had come up with the fantastic idea of #blessingsshared2k19, a trend set to share the #goodvibes that have been spread in the society by volunteers and non-volunteers. The drive began with a visit to an old age home “Belaku Vatsalyadhama” where our volunteers spent quality time talking, playing games, and singing with the sweet grannies. The drive started with the volunteers sharing stories of good vibes on their Instagram and the chain continued with tagging their friends.