A bright and conscientious student who is always prepared, Praveen Kumar is a talented tenth grade student who will soon be graduating from Pathway, his home for the past decade. Though generally a serious young man, Praveen has a ready smile and can consistently be counted on to answer a question in class, give a talk at church, or help the younger boys in Sunday classes.
Math and science are Praveen’s favorite subjects, and he feels that mastery in them will help him pursue his ambition to become an engineer. While he appreciates the education and sustenance he has received at Pathway, Praveen is particularly grateful for the unique things he has gained — the ability to play the piano and an awareness of spiritual things. “Whenever I feel sad,” Praveen remarked, “I read the scriptures.”
The children of Pathway, Chennai and the Sabin Centre were highly excited and thrilled, this time to entertain others. The occasion was a grand display and competition of dramatic ability by children with special needs that was witnessed by hundreds of people, press and electronic media. More than 20 children from both these facilities participated in a grand musical drama in the prestigious Narada Gana Sabha auditorium that is normally reserved for the best in cultural activities of the city. They enacted a forty minute costume -play titled “Diamond Merchant.”
The story centers around a diamond merchant, enacted by Prabhu (with great gusto), who lived with his wife and daughter, enacted by Thajunissa and Nandhini. He had earned his prosperity through sheer hard work. He is befriended by a cunning thief who wants to rob, with the role of thief ably performed by Prasanna. The play depicts the ways the thief tries to cheat the diamond merchant, but in vain. Finally the merchant realizes and understands the intentions of the thief. There are several characters in the play such as fellow merchants enacted by Mani, Sudeep, Goukal Raj, Karthick. In addition to them, there are several other characters that were played by various children with great elan.
All the children were beautifully dressed in appropriate costumes that were highly attractive and colourful. Thajunissa was looking dashing with her colourful saree and Nandhi was eyeful with her multicoloured skirt and top, all chosen with great care. The specialty of the play was that all the prime players of the drama not only enacted their role creditably but also delivered their dialogues with great ease and comfort without any prompting, depicting the great progress they have made in their expressive language. This also demonstrated the great improvement in their self confidence. This drama was well appreciated, drew great applause from the audience and received a special prize.
My time at Pathway was absolutely incredible, and something that was very precious to me. The two and a half months (Oct.-Dec. 2011) that I spent there have impacted my life profoundly and will continue to do so in the future.
Pathway is unique. Its very existence is a testament to the best in human nature. It was founded and is run with selflessness, love, and a spirit of service and charity that are completely humbling.
The children of Pathway are totally amazing and have touched my life in so many ways. They are so happy! Despite the tragic backgrounds that many of them come from, they understand that they are very blessed to be at Pathway. Pathway has given them an opportunity to rise above their circumstances and lead successful and abundant lives, and they take advantage of it – I have never seen such drive, motivation and studiousness in children so young. The children of Pathway are incredible and absolutely delightful and had much more to teach me than I had to teach them. The experiences I had and the lessons I learned there are priceless and irreplaceable.
The State Bank of India, Chennai, donated a “clinic on wheels” to offer free medical services to the needy and to serve the disabled in rural areas in Kanchipuram District. The key of the vehicle was handed over to A D S N Prasad, Founder-Director of Pathway by V. Vidyadhar, Regional Manager of the State Bank of India recently in a brief function. Mr. Vidyadhar described the contribution of State Bank in serving several laudable ventures all over the country and said that he and the bank were very pleased to be associated with Pathway. He said that his office and the team were willing to join hands with the organization to serve the poor and needy. He suggested that Pathway and SBI could hold joint medical and disability camps in several villages and towns of Kanchipuram District.
Prasad thanked the bank for this donation of Tempo Traveler that could be well converted as a clinic with all facilities, and said that the organization would utilize this vehicle to serve the poor and disabled in remote villages of Kanchpuram District. Children with mental disability, cerebral palsy, autism, deafness, and multiple disabilities would be served. Apart from these disabled who seem to have very clear and discernable problems such as above mentioned, other several challenges in children that need urgent and immediate attention would also receive special attention. Some of these issues are not understood in an average class room by teachers in the regular school. It will be the goal of experts in the mobile clinic to identify many problems, such as learning disorders, ADHD, ADD, etc The mobile clinic would also offer free medical services to the poor and needy.
He briefly described the services rendered by Pathway, Chennai, The Pamela Martinez Matriculation School and Orphange for socially disadvantaged children and The Sabin Centre for disabled children and adults from the past several years and said that Pathway has served more than 23,000 children and adults with various problems to date. Mrs. Chandra Prasad and Mrs. Dhuli Patnaik, Trustees of Pathway, and senior officials of State Bank of India participated in the event.
The clinic on wheels has been operating for the past seven years, serving the poorest of the poor in nearby villages of the Agro Farm. All these years the needy patients, predominantly women and children, were being served through the mobile clinic by offering free consultation and treatment, which included free dispensing of essential and quality drugs and medicines, administration of injections, dressing, etc.
Villages in and around Agili, such as Mathur, Muniyanthangal, Agili colony and village, and several other hamlets were being visited. Now the area has been extended to include small and large towns like Acharapakkam and Maduranthakam. Several villages around these towns have also been included. After establishing the Sabin Centre for Rehabilitation & Education of Disabled Children, it was decided to enlarge and magnify the work of the clinic on wheels by including not only people who needed general medical care but also the disabled and their families.