Taking Flight: The budding journey of Helpmefly, a platform for the differently abled
Bengaluru, June 03: Having worked as a teacher for very many years, Anuradha Singh, was not new to working with specially abled children. Soon enough, it proved to be her calling and in 2017 she founded Helpmefly, an organisation that serves as a platform for the differently abled.
Helpmefly was created to work towards, making the differently abled, financially independent and more importantly, lead a life of dignity. Just the name and origin of the organisation, stems from the motive of becoming a platform or rather a catalyst for social and economic inclusion of the differently abled.
Hailing from a primarily service-oriented family, Singh said, she felt the need to equip herself with related technicalities and various aspects regarding differently abled individuals. Currently, she is a freelancer and a consultant to parents, schools and other institutions. Singh assists parents of specially abled children, in behaviour modification, remedial and life skill strategies. She has also worked as a resource person for CBSE, as part of which,
Singh has conducted numerous workshops in schools across Bangalore, with special emphasis on inclusion and awareness about the differently abled.
Staying true to its vision, prior to the onset of the pandemic, Helpmefly, catered to corporate gifting ideas, through gifts made by the differently abled. Ranging from diyas to block printing, the organisation tried to lay the foundation for economic inclusion of these individuals. Much of the initiatives relating to financial stability, was done with Helpmefly acting as a linking or rather catalytic agent between organisations and corporate set ups. Through its signature event, 'Ummeed', Helpmefly aimed to create a social platform for the differently abled, through talent shows, specifically in art and music.
However, whilst the pandemic's peak, Helpmefly and its founder, had to shift to an online mode, which brought many of its core initiatives to a halt. Currently, Singh, conducts talk shows of success stories of differently abled individuals across the globe. "Such talk shows act as a huge motivation for the community of the differently abled." Said Singh.
Regardless of the privilege and economic background, discussions regarding the differently abled and its various aspects, continue to be a stigmatised topic in the society, with several parents refusing to accept their child's disability. Talking in regard to the same, Singh mentioned that age-old cultural beliefs and lack of awareness, play a major role. "But thankfully, the Indian population is emotional, because of which they will be ready to help if they are educated and aware. That's exactly why we focus a lot on spreading awareness." explained Singh.
Owing to the need for awareness, apart from workshops, Singh has initiated, 'Train the trainer' program wherein, she chooses a set of parents, from her hometown and educate them about the needs, necessities, requirements and behaviour modifications of their specially abled wards. "What we eventually aim, is for these sets of parents to go on and educate other parents, thereby spreading awareness." Said Singh.
Singh has also conducted surveys about the existence of ramps at polling stations and submitted a report regarding the same, to other organisations. In her words, politicians ought to consider and value the voting rights of differently abled citizens as well. By doing so, the rights and needs of the differently abled will be better acknowledged.
Differently abled individuals continue to be on the receiving end of unending sympathy or unreasoned hatred. Though their acceptance has progressed over the years, the pace of growth and progression is seemingly slow paced, especially in India. Though, a baby organisation, Helpmefly and its founder are working relentlessly and silently, on the path to empower the differently abled.