Dear friends, well-wishers and supporters,
Hearty greetings from Jyothirgamaya!
Welcome to our newsletter of 2019
Since our last newsletter, we have been on a more interesting and innovative journey with a wide range of unique activities, including migration to our new premises!
With all your care, support and blessings, Jyothirgamaya continues to climb higher and higher up the ladder of success!
Residential training course
The New Year greets us, with the start of our 14th residential training course with five students,Four from Kerala and one from Maharashtra. During These batch students were taught basic computing, mobility and communicative English.
Arrival of new volunteer
On the 17th of January, we witnessed the arrival of a new family member in to our family of Jyothirgamaya,”Salome” all the way from Germany! She is a professional social worker with previous experience in Africa, which played a vital role in her work with us. She brought a memorable transformation in the outlook of the students, through her communicative English classes, theatre arts and also through her creative games!
Our organization sees yet another milestone! With an idea of embarking on a new venture Jyothirgamaya Pre-school for blind, the first of its kind in India. We decided to relocate to a more spacious building. Our current building is now in a better more centralized location with ample space for the residential training course, as well as the pre-school.
Fifteenth residential training programme
The month of June, saw the commencement of our fifteenth empowerment residential training programme at our new premises! A whole new atmosphere and a classroom full of nine energetic students of all ages. The students immediately plunged in to a series of activities such as mobility training, ICT, interpersonal skills and regular Yoga classes. To our students.
HellenKeller day celebration
On this great day, we conducted an awareness session about the noble soul Helen Keller, who herself being deaf and blind, made her mark in society, and is a model for all people with and without disabilities. After which all students were taken on a fun trip to the Shanghamugham beach,Where they not only swam in the ocean, but also had an experience of horse riding, which was a take away, and also a joy for each of them.
International Yoga day
This Yoga day in particular was a memorable occasion for us, as it paved the way for a new partnership with Yoga association and Uma’s nutriyoga. We had a fully-fledged session with all our students and the members of these two organizations. We are also pleased to introduce our new Yoga faculty MR Jayprakash who now teaches Yoga regularly.
Inauguration of new centre
The 19th July, marks a new beginning for us!
The inauguration of our preparatory school and new training centre. The occasion was presided over by our Honourable Minister K Shailaja Teacher and the special secretary social justice Shri. Biju Prabhakar IAS On this note, we also released our Jyothirgamaya theme song” Theliyunnu Jwalayi” whose meaning, is in line with our organizational work. The song was composed by a young budding musician Rahul Mohandas and Sajiv Singh on the vocals. Our students also displayed a spectacular cultural programme with song, dance and drama. Many of our well-wishers were present.
Initiation of extra curricula activities
“All work and no play, makes jack a dull boy”!
Our students delightfully took part in a chess competition, organized my Marbecillious College of engineering!
Though our students played chess at the centre with our access technology trainer who is also a renowned chess player for the first time they had the experience of a real competition!
Self defence session was organized for the girls exclusively by the college for our girls, so as to empower them, and enable them to defend themselves at any situation!
A unique independence day
15th august, which is our day of independence, marks yet another new beginning at Jyothirgamaya. Our students were initiated in to vocational training, and handicraft work. Not all can sit in front of a computer, and become an IT expert! People have varied passions, and at Jyothirgamaya we try to respect all passions, ad steer our students towards their passions! Along with an organization. “We Create Lives “at the Trivandrum polio home our students learned dream catcher making, flower and candle making.
Saying goodbye to this energetic batch!
Sadly as the proverb says “all good things must come to an end”, the month saw the successful winding up of our batch. The students take their certificates with immense and enter in to the big wide world. One of them Harisree, a young high spirited girl enters the work force in a call centre in Cochin!
We all know that there are still many, who need yet to be educated about the capabilities of persons with disabilities and who also need a spark of new fire in their lives and a new motivation! We at Jyothirgamaya believe in this, and conduct sensitization sessions whenever possible.
Second dine in the dark programme
Jyothirgamaya conducts its second dine in the dark programme, in collaboration with Inner wheel club of Cochin. The programme was attended by almost seventy people and was covered by many Media channels. It was indeed a unique experience for all members, as they were guided inside the hall, by our students, and taken on the new experience of identifying and eating their meal in the kark. Songs were sung, and our students told their life stories, how they were and how Jyothirgamaya changed their lives.
Our theme song was also played in the background, which was appreciated by all the guests, as its lyrics are in line with our work. It was thrilling experience to hear our students singing along to the melodious music! We are indeed proud and grateful to those who made this beautiful song for us!
An event held every month sponsored by Federal bank, similar to TED talks where eminent officials and change makers come together and share their thoughts on how change can be effective. Tiffany Brar was invited along with the Jyothirgamaya team consisting of our budding student Aneesh, Mr. Balaraman, Access Technology Trainer and Mrs.Aruna our Administrator. They all took the audience through their journeys as blind people, accessibility of computer android phones how the blind can be useful and not useless and much more!
Walk for inclusion
Yet another milestone in Jyothirgamaya, in sensitizing the government as well as the public, the first programmes of its kind our walk for inclusion!
This was in collaboration with the students of LBS Engineering College, as part of their college fest, for a social cause. We walked from Maniyamvithi to Kanakakunnu palace and the walk was graced by our eminent Special Secretary of Social Justice Shri. Biju Prabhakar,IAS who is an ardent admirer of Jyothirgamaya and its work.
Women’s day programmes
As International Women’s Day, is one of the most important days and as our Founder is a woman, many organizations and companies long to hear her experience and personal struggle as a woman with a disability, and her views on gender equality.
She was invited to a number of organizations this year Hutko, a central government for sharing her experiences and shedding light on gender equality in government sector, the government secretariat, for emphasizing on the same. At this programme all employees were quite disinterested in the beginning, but Tiffany succeeded to captivate the audience through her oratory skills, role plays and examples. She was also invited to eminent companies such as IBS, Invest Net, as well as Nisan Private Limited. At all these places she shed light on the aspect of how gender roles should change starting from the home itself, moving on the textbooks and subsequently at the workplace, stressing upon equal wages for both men and women and support for women during maternity and equal shifts day and night for both genders
Tiffany was indeed honoured to have been invited as the keynote speaker for the infuses belated women’s day celebration.Here too she spoke on a variety of topics gender related captivating the audience. She was privileged to have IAS Asha Thomas, as a fellow speaker who too gave very good views on gender equality.
Innovation camp for youth with disabilities
Jyothirgamaya actively participated in the state government project innovation camp for youth with disabilities organization by national institute of speech and hearing along with Kerala innovation strategic council. Our participants trained the catalysts in Mobility, accessibility, and also gave insightful answers to their questions on how blind people live a well grounded life and the challenges they face, and also how they get around technologically and about their white-canes.
Our founder played an active role in the declaration which was made on 4thMarch at Mascot hotel by the Kerala tourism department for responsible tourism, and making touristic places accessible for persons with disabilities by giving her inputs on how such places can be made disable friendly.
Indian Medical Association Camp
Our Founder gave a small exciting sensitization session to the kids who attended the summer camp, organized by the Indian Medical Association under the president ship of Dr.Anupama.
Kerala Social Security Mission Talent Search Camp
Tiffany along with her team consisting of Mano, Educational Coordinator and a MBA intern Ms. Amala Thomas, conducted ice breaking sessions and rights awareness sessions for the blind participants of the Kerala Social Security Mission Talent Search Camp.She was surprised to find many students had budding inner talent and had allot of potential and she urged them to go further in life and to make maximum use of their rights.
Tiffany Brar was invited as the key note speaker for “The Regional Conference of the Kerala Chapter” for the project management institute. She shed light upon the importance of inclusion in project management and also about including persons with disabilities in the leadership roles and roles of project managers.
Pranathi Women’s Programme
Tiffany along with her educational coordinator Mano participated in the Mother’s Day Celebration of the Pranathi Women’s Group of which she is a prominent member. She was the main guest along with Theertha Nirmal who is hearing impaired and who also runs as.
Christ Nagar School Interaction with our students
We at Jyothirgamaya, don’t like to limit our students to themselves, we wish for them to explore the world, and interact with the sighted population! We regularly welcome school and college students as well as people from different walks of life to visit, interact, and eventually enter the Jyothirgamaya family! We had a fruitful interaction with the students of the higher secondary level of Christ Nagar School. We all sang, laughed, they asked questions about our live, and how we cope with our challenges, and also about accessibility software, ETC. We also partook in tea and snacks together.
Interaction with UST global
We are pleased to welcome the members of one of Trivandrum’s most prestigious international companies as a part of our Jyothirgamaya Family, UST Global. We had a fruitful interaction with its members, who took an interpersonal skill session for our students, and answered their queries about life skills, and employment in private sector.
Sensitization session at NISH
National institute for speech and hearing invites us for a sensitization session. Here the hearing and visually impaired students exchanged notes, and there was a short interaction.
Giridhar Eye institute “Eyek 2019
Our founder was the chief guest along with a young budding musician for the annual day of Giridhar eye institute of optometry. She delivered the keynote address, where she spoke about the way of handling people with visual impairment.
Student’s induction programme Providence College Chenganoor
Our founder conducted the inaugural address for the students induction programme, urging and motivating them to go ahead with life with an inner zest, and radiance. She also highlighted upon disability, and how people with disabilities live, and how these engineering students, can use their technology as a tool to create social good and accessibility for people with disabilities.
Women economic forum
Our founder participated as a speaker at the women economic forum, at IIM Kozhikode, along with many other eminent ladies in the field of social, as well as business entrepreneurship. She spoke about her challenges, and how to be the change.
Onam celebration at Rajiv Gandhi Foundation Alapuzha
Our founder was invited as the guest of honour for the Onam celebration of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, a philanthropic organization working for the welfare of financially weaker students, cancer patients, and old people. She gave an insightful talk on social work, and the importance of helping others, and thanked the foundation for its good work in this field.
The month of October saw yet another leap for Jyothirgamay.An international recognition. “The Spindle award”. Our founder along with our access technology trainer MR P Balaraman, went to the Netherlands for an inclusion week, the NOW US, nothing about us without us! Among 162 organizations ours was selected as one of the top ten inclusive initiatives, and we got the second prize!
Residential training batch
Buzzing like busy bees, our students of the sixteenth batch! Classes go one as usual, with a spark to the fire, our long awaited inclusive adventure tour to Thenmala with our adventurous well-wisher MR .Sundarlal Sundaram.
All students had fun, and plunged in to a number of adventure sports, such as rope riding, rope climbing boating and allot more! The tour was attended by 20 students old and new from across the state and it was a wonderful time of adventure, freedom, fun and inclusion!
We thank you all for sparing your time and travelling with us on our journey of activities, and hope to bring allot more change, transformation and change in the next year.
Our dream is an inclusive Kerala, where blind works, enjoy, and live well.
But we can only achieve this dream together, not alone!
Please join hands with us in making a difference in the lives of the blind, through your volunteering, mentoring, as well as your benevolent contributions!
No donation is too small for us.