“know me for my abilities not for my disabilities”
Saathi Enabling Centre, as a unit of SOEC is aimed at creating a friendly atmosphere for the visually impaired and other differently abled students by bridging the gap between the abled bodied and disabled students in the campus. SAATHI has been working on several issues and the special needs of visually impaired students by efforts aimed to bring them into the mainstream campus life. This is done through various activities, events, programmes, visits, etc. SAATHI as a concept of peer monitoring was introduced this year to personally give attention to issues of the students with special needs.
1- Volunteers Students meet::
With the orientation of SOEC, this year too we got a whole new range of enthusiastic and selfless volunteers. An informal meet was organised for students and volunteers on 19th July 2018 so that both the sides become familiar with each other. A SAATHI PEER was allotted to each student at the same day. Representatives of DEEPSTAMBHA MANOBAL FOUNDATION Harsh Yadav and Manjushree Kulkarni spoke to the people present about further career opportunities . Coordinators for this session Oshin Bamb, Akshata Bhat and Vibha Khandare explained the working of SAATHI to all volunteers.
2- MUSIC MASTI GAPPA GAANI::
This ice breakers activity was organised on 14th August 2018 at Kimaya and it proved to be a very successful one where we got to know about the hidden talents of our differently abled students and volunteers through poetry, instrument playing, rap and other songs, story telling , shaayri ,etc. It not only gave us an insight into what potentials the students have but also about how unique everyone was in their own way.
3- Rishton Ki Raakhi::
On account of the festival of Rakshabandhan, our volunteers and
visually impaired students celebrated Rishton Ki Raakhi as an individual initiative with the non teaching staff, maama-maawshi-bhaiyya and the others who actually are the backbone of our campus but are still mainly marginalised and disrespected . The smile on their faces after celebration was a proof of how happy they were after getting raakhi tied at their wrists hundreds of kilometres away from their hometown ,
it was a celebration beyond caste- class- sex-religion-region.
4- Chennai Help The Blind Foundation::
Help The blind Foundation has been associated with SAATHI and Fergusson College from long time and they are aiding our students with scholarships and other accessories if needed by the students. On 5th September 2018, interview session for giving the scholarships was held at A3 by representatives of the foundation and majority students were declared eligible for the scholarship. The interview ended with a photo session of all visually impaired students, coordinators, representatives of the foundation and the Principal Dr.Ravindrasinh Pardeshi Sir who thanked the representatives for their efforts in this field.
5- Writers for exams, assignments and recordings::
Being part of the autonomous system the updated versions of the syllabi are being continuously kept pace with and are getting recorded time to time by our volunteers for helping the students with visual impairedness study on their own . Special assistance is given for preparing the Visually Impaired students for English speaking , grammar and related skills which are necessary for further career opportunities. Writers were provided for all mid semester and semester examinations of visually impaired students (11 th std upto MA level) along with assistance for writing the CEs or assignments or projects in case of third Year.
6- Computer Classes and Braille Corner::
To keep students updated on the technical know how of computing and its techniques , TTI in collaboration with the college runs computer classes in the computer lab equipped with JAWS software. Braille Corner has numerous Braille books to allow further readings to VI students.
7- Cleaning Activity::
To ensure better awareness of cleanliness amongst VI students and volunteers , a group activity of cleaning was organised on 4th December 2018 at A3 to instill into all a feeling of dignity of labour. Students and volunteers worked in good spirit and learnt many things from this activity.
8- Guest Lectures::
- Suyash Jadhav ( Ex-Fergussonian, international gold medallist paraolypic champion in swimming) and Hemant Atre ( Soft Skills Trainer ) were invited to give inputs from their respective fields to our differently aabled students and volunteers, the programme was kept open to all. On 13th December 2018 at A2, Suyash Jadhaw gave an inspirational speech based on his own life experiences
- whereas Hemant Atre guided the people present on interview skills and body language and other horizons to be achieved. Vice Principal Prof. Prakash Pawar also spoke on the occasion which was attended by a large number of students. Miss Jyoti Firke from the Happy Thoughts Foundation visited SAATHI and guided the students about positivity in life and other spiritual aspects of livin happily.
9- SAATHI FEST::
On the theme of BEFRIENDING THE BLIND , where all the others were engrossed in their own departmental fests , we at SAATHI continued with our special fest for giving more platform and exposure to our students with special needs. Record Breaking 45 visually impaired students from Fergusson and even other colleges attended the two days fest on 26th and 27thDecember. The rally on the first day was distinct as all students carried their white canes in hands. Games and events like pin the stick, got you amputed, masterchef buddies, braille housie, braille treasure hunt , music masti gappa gaani , paper duet nacho , recognise the stuff , bang the bell-cross the path , etc. Tasty lunch and snacks were enjoyed together by all . On the cultural days, traditionl day, tie and saree day too the VI students didn’t fail to make their distinct mark.
First time in history , Saathi team of Fergusson college performed on Cultural program@Amphitheatre
This is like,
Time + crazy friends =Good memories
10- BRAILLE DAY CELEBRATION::
On 4th January 2019 to mark the birth of Luis Braille , International Braille Day was celebrated at C6, where a song was sung as a tribute to the great personality . Mr. Subhash Karmarkar from the Pune Blind School was presiding the chair. A Speech competition on the topic ‘MERE JIWAN KO MILI NAYI DISHA’ was held to know the insights of VI students and volunteers on the same topic . Writers/scribes were felicitated for their spirit of social responsibility towards differently abled students by giving them certificates and badges .Their suggestions on working of SAATHI were also taken into account during the programme when they spoke about their expereinces working with us.
11- SAATHI TRIP::
A one day excursion tour was organised on 22nd January 2019 where visually impaired students and volunteers together under teacher’s guidance enjoyed the trip to Alibag beach and sea, Kolaba Fort, Kankeshwar Temple,etc.
Aniket Bende (TYBA) has won gold medal in international Olympiad of performing arts organised by Akhil BHartiya Sanskrutik Sangha at Dubai. Bhushan, Satish, Krishna, etc participated in regional level blind cricket championship on behalf of Pune District Blind Cricket Team and won the match at Thane. Ex student Laxmikant got selected as probation officer in State Bank Of India. Sanjeet Hoskoti (TYBA) wrote his own book named ‘My experiences and feelings of a dog’ in English.
13- SAATHI FAREWELL::
Saathi volunteers and visually impaired students gave a memorable farewell to the coordinators, volunteers and visually impaired students of third year on 30th March 2019.
The responsibility of coordinating Saathi was handed over by Akshata Bhat, Oshin Bamb and Vibha Khandare to the new coordinators Vishal P. S. Palve , Ashish Talreja , Apeksha Salunkhe and Pandhree Naikwade as the student
convenor at the valedictory ceremony of SOEC.
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