The Noble Soul Award, an award of excellence in the field of social responsibility, was given to Pathway by “Plus Dream Makers” in an event of the Chennai Special Olympics on December 7, 2013, at a marathon function at the Sathyabhama University in Chennai. This function coincided with the World Day of the Disabled. A plaque and citation were presented to Pathway as part of the program. Chennai Pathway and the Sabin Center of Agili were both represented by a large contingent of children and adults. Special entertainment was organized for the participants, with fun and frolic. Children from both facilities won prizes in softball, the 50 and the 100 meter dashes, shot put and other events, and were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals.
Throughout India and the entire world, December 3 of every year is celebrated as the World Day of the Disabled. On both a national and a state level, disabled individuals who excel in various walks of life are honored, as well as those who serve them. Pathway participated this year by sending a large group of children and adults from both the Pathway Centre in Chennai and the Sabin Centre in Agili. These Pathway residents were part of the grand march, sports, dance, music, and other cultural events. Pathway received special appreciation from the government for its play depicting the various welfare programs for the disabled.
Bharat is a diminutive, humble young man who has been at Pathway for the past fourteen years. On December 3 he received a crowning achievement from the hands of the Honorable Minister for Social Welfare for the state of Tamil Nadu. Bharat was adjudged as the “Best Employee” by the government in a special function that was organized to commemorate the World Day Disabled, a function attended by more than 2000 people and a battery of the press and electronic media.
He was presented with a 10 gram, glittering gold medal and a citation by the Honorable Minister for his untiring contribution as a baker at Pathway. Bharat is gifted not only in his baking skills but also excels in making jewelry and in the greeting card operation. It was a sight to see his mother beaming with pride and tears of joy as she embraced her son. He has indeed made Pathway proud.
Raju is a cheerful , confident, multi-talented ninth grade student at Pamela Martinez School. He is gifted in music and regularly leads his fellow students in group singing. He is good and helpful with small children. For the last few years he has been the mastermind behind the backdrop for Pathway’s Christmas presentation (see above and the January 2013 newsletter). His art abilities were manifested at a young age, along with those of his older sister Ranjitha, who was also a student at Pathway for several years. He was assisted in the backdrop painting by Charles and Aravindhan.
As we welcome the New Year, we are indeed grateful for the many blessings we have received this past year. Though some of us had to face great challenges, it is heartening to know that we have been bestowed with courage, strength and mercy by God so we can face and try to overcome these trials and tribulations.
We are delighted to celebrate the first anniversary of this newsletter, “In His Footsteps.” As members of the editorial board, we earnestly hope that you enjoy reading the newsletter. We would be happy to send our mailings to any of your friends and associates who may wish to be informed, if you could provide us with addresses.
We pray for God’s blessings and mercy on each one of us. At Pathway we look forward to the upcoming year with renewed zeal, expectation, and optimism. We plan to intensify our efforts and serve more of His children. We believe that every child is special and has been especially sent to us to be served. At this marvelous time we convey our continued gratitude to all our partners and benefactors and pray for their continued love, munificence, and association.
Pathway celebrated Christmas with great fervor and heartfelt prayer. There was much excitement in the air as the children from Pathway Chennai, the Pamela Martinez Matriculation School and Orphanage, and the Sabin Centre for the Disabled joined together to showcase a grand pageant. Children, adults, and staff from the Agro Farm traveled by bus and van all the way to Chennai. Hundreds of children were dressed in colourful attire which was gifted to them. The students from the Pamela Martinez School presented a beautiful programme which included hymns, choir singing, skits, and plays drawn from the scriptures. The dramas included “The Little Shepherd Boy” and “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. The special children and adults of the Sabin Centre presented well-choreographed dance and music singing praises to the Lord. What a remarkable achievement it was!
This event attracted hundreds of children and invitees and ended with a sumptuous dinner and the bestowing of gifts to all the children and staff, which were generously provided by good Judge Sheffield. District President Ramesh Babu and Presidents C.H. Paul and John Edison, participated in person. Loving Messages were received from friends and supporters from afar, including from one of the directors of Pathway, Sudha Subramaniam, who is visiting family in New Jersey, and Jean –Luc & Carole Butel & BJ from Chicago.
With the miracle of modern technology, special messages were received via Skype. From Bangalore, President David M. Brett and his wife gave wonderful messages. Eric Ottesen also conveyed his love, and the love of Pamela & Alex Martinez, and William & Barbara Benac from Texas was acknowledged. Chetan and Tessa Prasad in Utah also expressed their deep feelings for the children, adults, and staff of Pathway.