Archbishop Anil inaugurates physically challenged & differently-abled seminar

March 8, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

physically challenged ChildrenThe first ever Catholic Rehabilitation Conference of the institutions in India working for the welfare of the differently-abled children is an attempt to bring all the catholic institutions to one platform. Though there are some state level associations exist, there is no national level organization to represent the rehabilitation institutions run by the NGOs. Though networking is an important element for any successful rehabilitation program, there is not much networking among the institutions working for the persons with disabilities. True it is not something intentional but because of the conditions under which these organizations function. No one can deny the fact that the NGO-run institutions render excellent service to children with disabilities.

They are totally focused on the work they are doing and they do not have a proper communication network or spare personnel to do public relations to highlight the work they do for the special children of God. An occasional story in the local paper is all that they get as publicity which is totally inadequate to create proper awareness in a society that still remains in the denial mode of the very existence of persons with special needs. No wonder, there is no organization at the national level to represent the issues the NGO run institutions face in carrying out rehabilitation programs for the differently abled children. True the institutions registered with the National Trust have an opportunity to attend the Annual General Body Meeting of the Trust but a sheer eye wash as it does not have the power to take decisions that challenge the government policies.

It was high time for the NGO-run rehabilitation institutions to come together and form an association at the national level to advance the cause of the differently-abled children. Therefore, Saint Francis Home Pathankot took the initiative of organizing this conference. It has to be noted that Saint Francis Home Pathankot could not contact all the Catholic institutions as there is no centralized data or even accurate addresses of these institutions are available. So this is only a small beginning but it is hoped that this conference would be a catalyst for all NGO run institutions to come together and a form a federation of affiliated NGOs for providing quality service to the special children of God.

Saint Francis Home Pathankot is deeply indebted to His Grace Archbishop Anil Couto for his wholehearted support and the Diocese of Jalandhar for making it possible for this Conference to happen.

The motto

The reason we took, “We have beheld His glory” as our motto is that all of us who work among the differently-abled children can vouch for the glory of God these people emanate. True they may not be able to fulfill the expectations of their parents; they can exhaust the patience of those who work with them but they have an innate goodness and a beauty that defies their personal appearances and disabilities. It is the glory of God they reflect.

1. Getting all the Catholic Rehabilitation Institutions registered make all our institutions conform to the laws of the land that deal with the rehabilitation of the differently-abled.

2. Formation of a registered all India association of all the Catholic institutions working in the field of rehabilitation with annual general body meeting to be held before the National Trust Meeting.

3. To have special section/commission in the CBCI to facilitate the church’s activities in the field of rehabilitation.

4. Starting a common E-Newsletter to share our small victories and the big problems in our ministry.

5. Encourage to have Email id and website for every institution in the field for faster communication and to highlight the uniqueness of each institution.

6. Explore the possibility of networking with other NGOS in the field to provide better life to the differently-abled children.

– peter kavumpuram

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