When Vijay was born, he was not expected to live. His parents gave him loving care, but professional medical services were not affordable. He was bedridden until age 7, but then, through sheer determination, he began steadily improving, while continuing to have both physical and developmental challenges. In 2018, because of your support, Disabled Children’s Fund provided Vijay with an all-terrain pediatric wheelchair to enhance his ability to get around in the rural area where he lives.
Vijay is the “face” of our effort to help disabled children in India. We named the initiative “Project Vijay” after him due to his winning personality and positive spirit. In many parts of the world, having a disabled child is something to be ashamed of, and the child is often confined to the house and hidden from the rest of the community. Even loving families have few resources available to help their dear children live a better, richer life.
Project Vijay began with needs assessments of disabled children and their families in some urban and rural areas of southern India. These children are challenged by a range of physical and developmental disabilities. In some cases, they urgently need properly made and fitted wheelchairs, a scarce item in India. When fitted with a wheelchair, these children have mobility with dignity and a feeling of independence. We also support a trained nurse who provides special needs training and services.
Gatherings are held periodically for these children and their families, where the families share their experiences and get a time of respite. A meal is provided, and special programs are offered for the disabled children.
It doesn’t take much to improve the quality of life for these wonderful children. If there are other children in the family without disabilities, these disabled kids get the hand-me-down clothes, often nothing but rags. Disabled Children’s Fund provides these children a new set of clothes, a great financial help for these poor families. You should see the children’s excited reaction to this—such a little thing in our eyes, but it means a lot to them.