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  • : The Handimachal Programme for disabled children, Kullu, India
  • The Handimachal Programme for disabled children, Kullu, India
  • : In the (blue) House of the Himalayas, in Kullu (Himachal Pradesh, India), discover and follow the progress of the Handimachal project for disabled children.
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January 5 2010 3 05 /01 /January /2010 20:48
There are numerous ways of expressing happiness wishes at the beginning of a new year.  People have so many different expectations in their life, how to address them on a blog?

Finally, Evert, our occupational therapist from the Netherlands, gave me a perfect opportunity when I discovered this story posted on his blog tonight. In 2007 when I visited families of disabled children in Kullu during our preliminary survey, I met children like Muskan, and their parents feeling helpless and with no vision of a future for their child.  Since then, I have been dreaming that such kind of story could one day be written in Kullu. 

And there it is, thanks to the hard work of our Handimachal team, Kanica, Yuv Raj, Evert (and "auntie"!), thanks to the numerous friends and supporters of the project - you all have made this dreamed story become a reality!

To all of you, thank you and a very happy new year 2010!


Please read Evert's story below, pictures were also taken by Evert.

muskan_day_1.jpg"Handimachal should come out with its successes. The progress each child makes, is the best advertisement you can get. A unique example is Shivani, nicknamed Muskan – Smile. I met her first at a home-visit half December. She is a 6 year old child with cerebral palsy, spastic since birth. The first time I met her, she was lying on bed, as she has lied for the most of her years. She could hardly be activated, her extremities stiff, she couldn’t keep her head up even for a moment. I gave the best I had in that therapy, thus inspiring her father.

The next day he brought his daughter to the Unit, as he has done every day afterwards. Every morning he gets up at 5 a.m. to start the day with giving Muskan exercises for an hour, at 9.30 a.m. they arrive in the Unit, where an hour later I often look at the clock in astonishment, lost in the therapy. In the evening her father gives exercises again, and with what a result!

Muskan and her father, 3 weeks laterThe first aim was that she could control her head. Now she sometimes sits upright with just the support of some pillows for about 5 minutes. Her body is supple, she looks around, responds to her father, smiles. This Muskan is a completely different girl than the one I met just 3 weeks ago.

Her father is excited. In tears he told me last week that Muskan is for him a gift of God. And so she is."

Evert Veldman, 4 January 2010

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