Sri Aurobindo Rural & Village Action & Movement (SARVAM), as a part of Community Service under English Access Program visited Fraternal Life Service Home (FLSH) and interacted with mentally disabled people of all ages and walks of life. FLSH was established in the year 1983 initially with 10 mentally ill patients who were picked up from the streets. Since then, the home has continuously provided medical care, accommodation and concern to more than 1,500 mentally ill persons, irrespective of caste and creed.
The main objective of this programme is to help students be aware about the different ways in which they can be instrumental in spreading joy among people who are very marginalized and ostracized from all the community activities. Initially the coordinators spoke on some of the reasons for mental disabilities and how the children should treat normally people suffering of any kind of physical or mental disabilities or challenges.
After the short introduction, all the students were asked to ideate and plan games on how they can interact with the people at Fraternal Life Service Home. The resourcefulness of all the students came out in the recreations they planned, which brought forth many imaginative and innovative thoughts on the topic.
The visit was initiated in an effort to give the students valuable volunteering experience and skills to handle a situation which was very different from their normal day-to-day experiences. The students also had light-hearted conversations with the patients, and the coordinators from both SARVAM and FLSH guided these students. During the visit, Access students engaged in playing games with the people of the home, listened to their stories and discovered many talents.
It was truly a very satisfying experience for the students as they could bring smiles on the inmates’ faces, for however brief a period. They realized that everyone must contribute and understand his/her social responsibilities towards the society, especially those who are vulnerable and disregarded.