On July 1st, Chingari held an ‘Eid Milan’ celebration event. The meaning of Milan is to meet one another and, during Eid, they meet by hugging. It’s a beautiful, simple act and all of the children and their parents were invited to take part. The celebrations also featured performances from the children.
Chingari issued a press release on the day, explaining a little of its history and outlining challenges it faces in the future:
“Chingari Trust was founded in 2006 when two Bhopal gas tragedy survivors, Champa Devi Shukla and Rashida Bee, were recognized for their activism on behalf of the thousands of survivors of the Union Carbide gas disaster and were presented with the Goldman Environmental Award. Nephew of Rashida Bee was born with Spastic cerebral palsy and has passed away at the age of nineteen years. During his lifetime, he was neither able to stand, speak nor chew his own food .Champa Devi Shukla’s granddaughter was born with cleft lip. It had become really difficult for her to arrange funds for the surgery of her granddaughter. Suffering in their own families have inspire them to work for the rehabilitation of such children and when they have received the Goldman Environmental Prize, they have find the means to do it.
“Chingari Trust is working for the rehabilitation of congenitally disabled children born in the families affected by Bhopal Gas tragedy from last twelve years. About three hundred children comes regularly at Chingari rehab centre and receives Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy, Special Education, mid-day meal, pick and drop facility and other facilities free of cost, thanks to support from Bhopal Medical Appeal and other donors. In last twelve years, we have seen children who were not even able to sit on their own at the age of four or more are now walking after receiving therapy sessions. Similarly we have seen children who were not even to utter a word can now speak sentences.
“Issue which we are facing now is that in last twelve years, about thirty of this children who were registered as a childnhave now entered into adolescence and around sixteen of them have become adults i.e. above eighteen years. With growing age there needs has also increased.
“Moreover, many of these children comes from economically backward class and as per our experience , we have taken care of one major practical issue which their parents/guardians have to face i.e. to afford the cost of transport from their house to centre by providing them with pick and drop facility free of cost. So effectively this programme will put zero financial pressure on the parents/guardian. About 35 such children will be picked up from their homes.”
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