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(Punchika’s Mother)

Vandana is the mother of one of the students at Muskaan. She is extremely talented and loves coming to Muskaan and helping the youngsters. She resonates with Muskaan’s philosophy of dignity and empowerment. Vandana has an M.A. in Hindi, which she uses in good measure while teaching her students.

 The day I came to know about Muskaan : 
Our daughter Punchika used to go to Navjyoti where I was also working as a volunteer. Punchika spent 18 years there, but then their Vocation unit became nonfunctional. So I decided to bring her to Muskaan. Also, there were two other reasons. Muskaan is near our house and I have already heard a lot about this place.

 My role with Muskaan : 

I help with the Life Skills Programme (LSP). It is an awareness programme wherein students learn about themselves, others around them and the surrounding environment. This program aims to promote the psychological and physical wellbeing of the students. It facilitates enrichment of their cognitive faculties and personality development. It even paves the way for self-awareness by improving their balance, motor skills, social and emotional quotient. It even enables the students to refocus their attention and recentre themselves.

 Best thing about Muskaan : 

Muskaan is totally committed to these adults. There is absolutely no compromise on the learning and capacity building of these people in any aspect. What strikes you the most is the holistic involvement of the teachers and the Principal. The work 7 ethics at Muskaan is amazing, everyone is so approachable and facilitate peer learning for one another. People with intellectual disabilities need wings to soar high and Muskaan befriends them in every possible way. It makes them fearless and confident in their accomplishments. I can say that I have seen tremendous change in my own daughter since the day she embarked on her journey at Muskaan.

 My anecdote : 

Punchika knows Hindi typing and loves it. Once she was doing a puzzle on the computer which she was not able to solve. But she didn’t give up. She kept on trying and worked on it the whole day. In the evening when she solved it, she screamed with joy, “I did it!” and came running to me. I hugged her and kissed her on the forehead.

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