29th July 2011
We were all called there. All the members of Parivartan, Social Service Society of Sri Venkateswara College. Even the non-members could come along. Its Mr. Dinesh's birthday today. The chairman of Friends' Organization (ngo) at Karampura that works for the rights for differently-abled people. That's the first thing I learned there: Replacing "dis-abled" with "differently-abled". The not-so-wonderful auto ride didn't give us a boost to start with though, still the hopes of having a great day kept us alive. We were called at Haus Khas, Aadi (Action for Ability Development and Inclusion), one of the biggest ngo of Delhi. I ask Swati why are we called here? "That's because Mr. Dinesh has done his schooling from this place", she said. "Maybe the school is organizing it for him or maybe he asked them to organize it here, either way round", she completed. We brought along a beautiful bouquet of flowers made at satya niketan. Then, entered (after our obnoxious auto ride) into the aadi foundation. "Okay, I didn't expect this", I said looking at Kritika. "Neither did I", she said.
The school, was next to beautiful with red bricks, in the shape of an oval building covered with greenery, spacious classrooms filled with neatness and large corridors- seeming more of some hill station school from the first floor as we enter the F1 hall, offered by the person sitting at the reception, he too, differently-abled. Enters Dinesh Sir on his wheelchair. Greeting us with a huge smile. We could make out how happy he was to see us all- we a bunch of around 10-12 members. Dinesh Sir suffers from cerebral palsy, a disease in which the brain works but the body doesn't. We greet him with the bouquet we brought for him, which adds up his happiness factor. He starts talking, when we sat. Even though, its troublesome to understand his words and sentences at the first meet, but now we understand him to a large extent. We sat, talked to him for a while. Enters a man, nearly fifty years of age. Followed by two more teachers of aadi foundation. Then, comes the IIT "dudes", as Swati calls them. They sat at one chair distance from Kritika, our new president (we have two Kritikas), we giggled. When the IIT "dude" sat near the chair of Dinesh Sir, and started speaking, the fifty year old man prompts and says, "be a bit louder". He increased his pitch, for that's the only option for him. Then, comes the special guest- a major chief and mentor-cum-guru of Dinesh Sir. We all stood and greeted him. He starts speaking, as Sir said I've spoken a lot. "Speak a bit louder", says that fifty year old man again. He too, increased his pitch, for no other option left. He starts, " I know Dinesh since he was a student of this school and how he used to come with bruised chin all over". That's what has given him so many marks at the chin- the stitches, something that I kept wondering since I met him over a year ago. The major continues, "Thats because the people at the bus used to call him mad, make fun of him and hurt him badly, push him while getting down the bus. But, thats the best thing about Dinesh- his enthusiasm and guts to go ahead in life. Most of you would not know but this is the man who introduced the idea of low floor buses which you all get to see all throughout the city. Yes, it was a long case, which he finally won. Where, I supported... a bit. The idea of low floor buses helps the differently-abled people easier to commute". He keeps his hand over Dinesh Sir's shoulder and continues, "Dinesh belongs from a well groomed family. Yet he used to travel through buses not cars, all because he is down to earth. The best things about him is, if he gets stick to things he will complete it some or the other way, but he won't leave it". He praises him a lot. When, Sir introduces his father. The fifty year old man is his father. That came as a bit shock, though. I know now how he is down to earth, so is his father. At the end we were supposed to jot down something we felt during the session, in just five to six lines. It was just not possible to describe Dinesh Sir, the day in five or six lines. Somehow we did it.
The program went on, when me and Swati had to leave (her dance class and mine, home far away). We apologized for going this early. Followed by an enjoying auto ride with Swati. The giggles even irritating the auto wala. The day ended with even more respect in my heart for him.
Such personalities always enhances the positivity around.
|(L-R) Me, Swati, his father, a teacher at Aadi, his mentor.|
|Major with Mister Dinesh|