The Phase of Life in the New Normal for the Differently-abled
While the year 2020 was full of turbulence and lost expectations for some the year was a light at the dark end of the tunnel. This was due to the efforts that were made by an NGO with the name Narayan Seva Sansthan which has been humbly serving the needy and the underprivileged during these trying times with no expectations of earning laurels. The Organization that was established with the initiative of serving those who are underprivileged and those who are differently abled has been successful in doing so with its trainings and skilling center at its campus in Udaipur which has been successfully empowered differently abled individuals since its inception. The organization has been striving to eradicate the social evils through its campaigns and one such flagship campaign is the ‘No Dowry Campaign’ that the organization has been promoting for the past 18 years. With this campaign Narayan Seva Sansthan has been able to get 2098 couples married since its inception.
In an attempt to connect the 11 differently abled and underprivileged couples to get their life partners, NSS organized the 35th Mass Wedding Ceremony where one such couple Shambhulal and Jina Kumari from Rajasthan shared their experiences.
Shambhulal and Jina Kumari have underwent a tough childhood where Shambhulal had a hearing and speaking impairment and belonged to a very poor family. His childhood was not like any other child where he would find it very difficult to communicate with other children. Jina Kumari on the other hand is autistic and did not have a very normal childhood. While both of them had a tough childhood they wanted to settle in their lives with a life partner who would support them emotionally and would understand their inabilities which are challenging yet demanding but together they could lead a happier life.
Narayan Seva Sasthan in its effort to offer a new phase in the lives of the differently abled couples organized the 34th Mass Marriage Ceremony which was witnessed by the near and dear ones of the couples. The marriage ceremony was strictly on the lines of ‘No Dowry Campaign’.
Jina has started a new phase of her life said, “Life is hard, we know, but it is important to lead it with a smile. This is why we are going to start new life while holding each other’s hand and raise our child with the same philosophy. We understand our situation of not having facilities or my future husbands disabilities can be an obstacle, but, we hope to get an opportunity to live a better life. We have been trained and been empowered to earn our livelihoods by Narayan Seva Sansthan’s Skill Center at Udaipur where we have been trained for tailoring.”
Our agenda has always been to empower differently abled by providing free health treatments, skills development courses, talent nurturing through capacity building and training to help them lead a respectful and sustainable livelihood. After arranging 34th mass marriage, we learned that disability can be a hindrance, but not a road block to finding a suitable partner or starting a new life on a new note.
Another couple who received assistance in getting married was Pooja and Kamlesh. Pooja lost her leg in an accident where she received a free of cost treatment through a surgery conducted by NSS. Her partner Kamlesh who was affected by Polio in both his legs right from the age of 3 years was operated at the NSS and is now able to walk with the help of crutches. After many hurdles, Kamlesh continued his studies with excellent results and in 2017 he got a job in a panchayat assistant.
Kamlesh says, “Letting the disability in your head is more harmful than being physically disable. To dream of a better life, encouraged me to start my own grocery store and be more able to study for the future. Now I got a job in the panchayat as an assistant, so I can devote only one hour at the shop and stretch time for my job.”
Both these couples were a part of the 35th Mass Marriage Ceremony organized by Narayan Seva Sansthan.
Author of the article- Mr. Prashant Agarwal, President of Narayan Seva Sansthan. NSS is a non-profit organization serving differently abled and underprivileged individuals.