Vishal is 11 years old and has the Down's Syndrome. But if you watch him craft candles, you too, like us, will call it making magic! He defies his ailment, to cautiously pour gel into the glass cups, watch it solidify and then add the coloured crystals! Possibly not many so-called 'regular' children will apply such precision.
Vishal belongs to an economically underprivileged family of six and lives in a small home in the slums of Seemapuri. His father works as a helper in a firm. He was brought to us four years ago, entirely physically dependant. He simply could not look after himself. Of course there was no exposure to reading or writing. His speech was also incoherent.
Vishal was then given extensive intervention directed at modulating his behaviour and initiating reading and writing. The therapy was directed towards initially achieving independence and self-care.
And we were amazed by what we observed. Vishal showed progress at writing skills and he is now able to write Hindi alphabets and numbers from 1 to 5! He is also able to do matching exercises promptly and can even identify body parts. His hand functions have improved with occupational therapy, proven by his dexterity at making gel candles. With speech therapy, his communication, albeit in words, has improved and he can now manage picture-reading.
Each morning we eagerly await Vishal's arrival at the centre and delight to see him dance and prance with his peers. His enthusiasm is infectious and he seems to offer us an added energy. Often we cannot contain our contentment, even as we carry on seeking his succour.