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Contacts

Jyothirgamaya Foundation,
Tc 4/2628, Maathravila,
Rashmi Nagar,

Kuravankonam-Vayalikada road
Kowadiar PO, Trivandrum, Kerala 695003

Office@Jyothirgamayaindia.Org
+91 90 370 46 548

Category: Newsletter

NEWS LETTER-2019

 

JYOTHIRGAMAYA FOUNDATION

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!

The relocation

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

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!

Sensitization programmes

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!  

Kitchen Trivandrum

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

Infosys

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.

Responsible tourism

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.

PMI Trivandrum

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.

Spindle Award

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.

 

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NEWS LETTER -2018

Jyothirgamaya Foundation

                                                

Dear friends and well-wishers, Hearty greetings from Jyothirgamaya!

Welcome to the newsletter of Jyothirgamaya Foundation for July,2018 to October,2018.

Dear friends, supporters, and well-wishers of Jyothirgamaya! We send you warm Greetings, from Jyothirgamaya Foundation, yet again! Since our last newsletter, we have been on a more interesting and innovative journey, with a wide range of unique activities, with a number of wonderful, energetic and vibrant souls.
With all your care, support and blessings, Jyothirgamaya continues to climb higher and higher up the ladder of success!

Meeting with Emirates

During the month of May, Jyothirgamaya entered in to a dialogue with Emirates airline, one of the most prominent international airlines, on making traveling by air more accessible, and barrier free for persons with visual impairment, and how to take care of them in times of emergency. A meeting was held to discuss these points, and Jyothirgamaya Foundation sensitized the employees and stakeholders.

Media programme

Our founder was interviewed by the famous anchor Dhanya Varma, for Kerala’s most prominent shows “The Happiness Project” on Kappa TV. The programme had a unique beginning, an eye-opener to the audience. Tiffany giving the anchor a glimpse of the world of the blind, by serving her a meal in the dark! This was followed by Tiffany’s interview, where she expressed her happiness without sight, and her positivity in her work, and what keeps her going this way.

                                                                

Empowerment Programme

Just as we empower and train others, it is also important to keep our skills up to date, and our energy levels balanced, this can be done by attending some training programmes and getting empowered. Tiffany, our founder attended “The Wild Training Programme” at Srilanka, held by the Mobility International Use, an organization promoting leadership among women. 

                                           

Twelfth Batch

The month of June greets us with our twelfth multicultural batch of students. Two students from Nepal, and three from Kerala. They were taught orientation &mobility, basic and advanced computing. Adesh and Saugath our Nepali students did exceptionally well in computers and even reached the level of installation of software and basic HTML. This batch also saw some new techniques in adapted physical education. We had two brief visiting well-wishers all the way from Australia. Sarah Nelson, and her partner Linzy, who are also Yoga experts. They introduced our students to Acro yoga, which they enjoyed a lot, and which also enabled them to realize that there are no barriers for blind people.

We also had a young energetic volunteer, probably our youngest, Mayurika ninth standard, enthusiastic socially committed student from Dubai, who played a vital role in integrating our students to the outside world, helping them with their English and motivating them.

                                       

Barrier Free Tourism

“Hellen Keller Day” marks the beginning of a new initiative in the state Kerala, of which our organization is a part of barrier free tourism. The government introduced a new initiative of barrier free tourism and making all tourist places barrier free in the state of Kerala, where tourism and travel is most popular. Our founder along with many eminent persons in the disability field gave her inputs on how temples, museums and other places can be made accessible, for instance introducing ramps instead of ramps in the beaches, audio toilets in public places, accessible rooms in hotels, etc.

Inclusive activities

Our founder actively participated in “The National Consultation for Inclusive and Accessible Elections” at Delhi during the month of July and gave her valuable inputs to make elections free, fair and accessible to persons with visual impairment and initiate Braille election ID cards and also to include persons with disabilities in political process.

                                         

National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP)

Our founder also actively participated representing her state at “The National Consultation on the Implementation of the Rights for Persons with Disabilities Act “during the same month at the capital.

                                           

Production of 1000 Accessible Rolling Ball White cane for the Blind

We had initially raised funds in order to produce the raw materials for making the rolling balls, rubber grips and white cane we have now produced a hundred sample rolling tip white canes, which have successfully been tested by visually impaired people, and now we are in the attempt to produce one thousand such white canes, and distribute them to as many blind people as possible within India.

Sensitization Programmes on

a) Inaccessible currencies

Tiffany was invited to enlighten the officials of “SBI Foundation” and “Reserve Bank of India”, about the difficulties faced by persons with visual impairment with respect to the present currency notes, the inability to identify them and the lack of financial privacy and the inconvenience and exploitation it leads to. She also enlightened them about the inaccessible ATMs and banking applications, and appealed them to find suitable solutions to make banking more disabled friendly and also to make currency easily identifiable as earlier.

                                               

b) Plight of persons with disabilities

Tiffany attempts to pull of the wool over the eyes of the elite children of the Vivek High School, Chandigarh by giving them an awareness session on the plight of persons with disabilities, how to treat them, behave with them and how to integrate them and treat them as they would treat themselves. She also highlighted on the fact that these children were far more fortunate than many others and that they should never miss an opportunity to help someone else in need, cash, kind, words, or even a smile.

                                                         

c) Gender Equality

Our founder being a woman with disability is an ardent believer of gender equality and women empowerment. She actively participates in “The Vande Keralam Event” which advocates for gender equality. One of Kerala’s most famous Radio Jackie and social activist Kidilam Firoz, goes on a three hunger strike and is handcuffed this he does to promote gender equality. He travels across Trivandrum, to collect the voices of women and girls tucked away in the nooks and corners of the state and also of college and school girls and makes their problems known to the government. Here Tiffany gives her opinions on gender equality, and also highlights the difficulties being faced by women with disabilities and how the society can change their attitude.

                                           

Flood relief work

Jyothirgamaya actively plays its role in helping Kerala in the time of natural calamity by traveling from door to door collecting necessary items and sending to a tribal colony in Wayanadu.

                                         

Onam celebration and audio library inauguration

The beginning of September brings Jyothirgamaya to the inauguration of a new project an audio library. Jyothirgamaya celebrates Onam with the students of economics department of Government Women’s College and also inaugurates its new audio library, with an aim to make reading material accessible to blind people in all possible formats. New clothes (Onnakkodi) were also distributed to the Jyothirgamaya students by the women’s college. We had almost twenty of our students and more than forty students from the women’s college. A short cultural programme was also conducted with active participation of all students and staff of Jyothirgamaya and women’s college and our old friend Samuel from Germany, who had just arrived. This marks the symbol of integration and oneness between blind and sighted. This was also followed by an elaborate Sadhya sponsored by a north Indian family living in Kerala.

             

Batch 13

This month also brings to us our students of the 13th batch. With two high spirited girls from Raipur and Mumbai, and four students from Kerala. Many different activities were introduced during this batch in fact it is one of the most unique batches in the history of our organization. The students instantly plunged in to the intense learning of access technology, which they were not at all acquainted to before, they learned how to use a cane, they visited the museum, which was made accessible to us by the officials, and also went on many interesting adventure trips to a waterfall, beach and much more!

             

As a part of recreation an entertainment our access technology trainer Balarman sir, taught the students the unique art of chess, which is a prominent sport practiced by the blind. Our friend and volunteer Samuel also used his creativity to the fullest by making a wooden Ludo game for the students too, which they play quite frequently in the evenings along with chess. During this batch we also have three more new members in the Jyothirgamaya Family, Anna from Canada, Lena from Germany and Julie from Belgium. Each of these volunteers has their own unique specialties and expertise to offer to our students. Theatre and body expression is introduced by Julie, new applications with regards to IOS and android are introduced by Anna, and art and craft is introduced in a small way by Lena. The students start by making small bead bracelets and plastic flower vases. A workshop on intercultural dialogue to introduce a healthy intercultural exchange and broaden our students intercultural knowledge is also conducted with these three energetic dedicates volunteers.

             

Training and empowerment

The Jyothirgamaya team comprising of Tiffany, Balaraman sir and Samuel, attend an echolocation workshop conducted by world access for the blind at the NAB India center Delhi, under Jyothirgamaya’s coordination. They learn the basics of echolocation and will soon impart it at a further level.

                                                     

Media

Tiffany Brar, our founder got yet another opportunity to spread her wings at national level, through “India’s best Dramebaz”, a well known children’s programme on Zee TV. Here two exceptionally talented children enacted Tiffany’s life story and Tiffany felicitated them and also spoke about her life and the challenges faced by the blind. She received appreciation from the famous Hollywood actor Vivek Oberoi and also was presented with “The Real Hero Award”.

                                               

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)

Our founder delivered a sensitization session for the employees of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). She spoke about stress management and also highlighted on the fact of how they should behave with persons with visual impairment and physical impairment in airport while escorting and helping them.

                                           

Awareness session on importance of accessibility

Tiffany Brar gave the keynote address at a disability studies seminar conducted by the English department of Panampali Government College, Chalakudi where she spoke on accessibility and the importance of making study materials accessible for visually impaired persons.

                                             

Women Empowerment Programme

Jyothirgamaya yet again initiates a new project, women empowerment workshops for blind women and girls. Our first camp in this project was conducted at Sri Kerala Varma College, Thrissur. Sessions were conducted in reproductive health, orientation mobility, android use and accessible banking applications.

                               

Pinkathon and white cane awareness

Pinkathon day was celebrated on 21st October as awareness against breast cancer and also as a symbol of women empowerment. More than four hundred women participated in this programme, including Tiffany, our founder. This was followed by a white cane awareness walk, where a few of the women were blindfolded and made to walk with a white cane. They were guided by our young radiant visually impaired girls Jeelu and Muskan. This was a totally new experience for them and gave them a glimpse of the life of the blind and how they can do their day to day things. It filled the atmosphere with a mixture of feelings and positive energy.

                                                   

Wild Women Workshop

Jyothirgamya conducts its first ever cross disability women leadership workshop WILD women institute of leadership and disability, in collaboration with Mobility International USA. The workshop was conducted on November 25th with twenty women of all disabilities at the Winsor Rajadhani. The workshop comprised of different sessions on a variety of subjects pertaining to women well -being.

             

Adventure Trips Thenamala

Jyothirgmaya had its yearly inclusive tour to Thenmala ecotourism place and Kuttallam waterfalls with one of our benevolent well wishers and adventure lovers Mr. Sundarlal Sundaram.

It was a two day tour with a lot of adventure and unique experiences such as water balloons, rope riding, rope climbing and much more. The students also had an opportunity to try their hands at poetry too, and on the hole it was a unique experience for all.

                                       

Hellen Keller Award

Tiffany Brar received her second National Award for her exemplary work towards empowering persons with disabilities ,ensuring inclusiveness, equality and being a role model on 3rd of December,2018 on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities . She received HELLEN KELLER award from Dr.Sathyapal Singh, Honorable Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Government of India. which was organized by National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) .

                                                   

Jyothirgamaya in Media

To watch please click the hyperlink

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Jyothirgamaya looks forward to let its shine in all directions and make that difference everyone needed, to spread that fire & spice and spread smile on the face that are wary and sad!

We urge to bring the blind out and make the world receptive to them.

This we can only do if you join hands with us, energies with us and support us. you may feel free to get involved with us, by volunteering or donating.

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