This is the real bitter truth about special needs of special people.
How Do I Contribute To Solve The Community Problems
"I Am Only one. But still, I am one. I cannot do every thing, but still I can do something, and because I cannot do every thing, I will not refuse to do something that I can do." - EDWARD EVERETTHALE.
The major community problem for which I have contributed my efforts is the problem of "THE RIGHTS OF SPECIAL PEOPLE". I have worked as a teaching/counseling/social with the "Special People" of our "Community" since 7 years.
Since from my childhood, I had an intention to social work for the special people, because I had a natural bond of attachment with them. To accomplish my wish, I chose "SPECIAL PEOPLE COMMITTEE" of our community so that I could bring change in the their lives.
I dealt with all type of students from the category of Profound, Severe, Moderate, Mild, but specially I have worked with "The Border Line" students who want their rights; Who face the major problem in every society in every community;
Who wants their creativity to explore in front of others; Who awaits for the love from others; Who wants other to accept them as a Normal Being.
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step" - Chinese proverb
And that chance of Volunteer service for these beloved special children was the first step of mine towards my journey to work for their RIGHTS.
"I believe that every individual can make a difference".
I thank God that these lovely students trusted me, gave me the bond of relationship, accepted me whole-heartedly in just my first year of Volunteer Service. They shared all of their problems with me and I thank God for giving me the special power for being accepted by them.
I have heard their voices, their shivered Pleadings, their wishes, their expectations. But still, they need every one in the society to hear them, to care them and to love them.
I had even faced many problems from our community while working for their RIGHTS.
I could say this that
"Though I am young but even than I am mature"
I can't do every thing in this world but yes I have brought a little change in their lives, which is the big reward for me.
On this international plat form I want to raise their voice.
I want to be their voice to tell you all the problems, which all the special people are facing. The problems, which need to be resolute, could only be possible by joining hands together.
The following are the major problems, which my community special people of "border line" category are facing, which has been identified by me are:
They want to get proper EDUCATION.
They want to get their RIGHTS.
They want others to TREAT THEM PROPERLY.
They want every one to stop calling them "SPECIAL".
They want others to treat them as "NORMAL HUMAN BEING OF THE SOCIETY".
They want to Marry.
They want FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
They want JOBS to begin their INDEPENDENT LIFE.
They want SOCIAL SECURITY.
They want to participate in INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS.
They want the PLATFORMS to show their talent to this world.
They want every one in the society, to MAKE THEM THEIR FRIENDS.
I want to share my experiences with you, that in what way I have helped few of my community special students of "borderline" to bring change in their lives and I would like to share my efforts and my initiative with you.
FIRSTLY, in order to aware community people about their problems, I worked with special children and identified the problems, which they are facing. Next, I wrote an article "I ADORE SPECIAL PEOPLE WHY DON'T YOU?"
In which I wrote about their rights and distributed in it to the community people so that they can be made aware about their personal needs and their rights. People, specially the younger members of our community showed positive gestures and showed their keen interest to know more about them after reading my article.
In this way I made the people of my community well aware about their needs and expectations from the society.
Next, I participated in the workshops in which I presented speech on special people in front of their parents. I faced many problems because I came to know that many of the special students were dishearten because their parents do not understand them.
Next, I personally visited many of the parents of my community and made them well aware about their wants, needs, and expectations from their family members.
I AM ADDING SOME OF THE EXAMPLES OF MY BELOVED SPECIAL CHILDREN, WHO'S LIFE, HAS BROUGHT LITTLE CHANGE THROUGH MY EFFORTS AND NOW THEY ARE LEADING A GOOD LIFE WITH LOTS OF CONFIDENCE.
Their weeps, their words, their expressions, their gestures; all had made me realized just one thing that still in Pakistan in all the major communities, SPECIAL PEOPLE ARE NOT TREATED AS A NORMAL HUMAN BEING.
Even though I know that they are the special stars of our society. They have made our nation proud too by participating in Special Olympics Worldwide in 2004,but still they re-bounded with loads of pressures.
I have brought changes in few lives, but the question is, who will solve the problems and issues of all the special people of every community? Who will guide them?
Following are my students, who have solved many of their problems through my efforts and counseling.
I am just quoting examples of few of my students.
Name will not be disclosed; therefore I am using ALPHABETIC REPRESENTATIONS on the behalf of their names.
One of the experiences, which I would like to share, is the experience of one beautiful girl
"A" is 25 years old. Her parents and family friends always discouraged her in many of her personal decisions. She is a "Border line" female student. Her family treated her very badly during her early age.
Just because of seeing the family fights since from her early age, she had her first Epilepsy attack at the age of 10. She bears many hardships and had face many physical punishment from her family. She was the first student of mine whom I studied very carefully. She wanted to participate in sports.
For that, I went to her family, talked with them and made them realized about their insanity, which made her daughter fearful. I told her family about the talents, which their daughter had. She was medically treated for her epilepsy and free medicines were provided to her by MY COMMUNITY HOSPITAL. I trained her for sports. From that day, her life changed and after continuous efforts and with her family positive gesture, she participated in "The World Olympics" in 2004,and won medal too. The smile, which was seen on her face, was the first victory of my effort, which made me realize that at least I have brought a little change in her life. She firstly shared her victory with me, which was the precious virtual reward for me.
NOW, she is working at her neighbor's house and earn around 100$ a month. She has her own mobile, which she brought from her own salary. She is also a volunteer coach of our Community.
She always wished to be TREATED AS NORMAL CHILD. The good thing is that NOW SHE IS TREATED AS A NORMAL CHILD BY HER FAMILY. The only problem, which is not yet solved, is the PROBLEM OF HER MARRAIGE. She wants to marry and want to live happy life.
The next girl is "B". She had many traumatic experiences, which she had personally shared to me in her counseling session. Her wish is to MARRY and to GET SOCIAL SECURITY.
She explained me that her parents told her that you are SPECIAL and you CAN'T MARRY. She further added that one man in her building tries to sodomize her, touch her and use bad words. That man told "B" many times to come with him to his house.
"B" is a brave girl is not special from mind. My question is:
How any one can tell this situation if he/she is special?
Though she is borderline student but I guess she is a normal child. She thinks, she evaluates every thing and Understands many things.
Firstly, she went to her aunt with whom she lives. Her mom is always busy in her work and her father is not alive. Her aunt ignores this serious issue. "B" wants FREEDOM OF SPEECH. She wanted to express her feelings. Many denied the serious issue, which she was facing.
I counseled her. She was taught how to handle such situation in future. I went to her aunt and asked her how she can tolerate this serious matter. I told her family members that she is also normal and she also needs freedom of speech. Her family now treats her in much better way than before. "B" her self told me,
"I am not mental. if that man try to touch me again, I will not leave her and would insult her in front of every one because I am not MENTAL RETARDED".
She also wants to marry in her life but still her family doesn't want to talk about this matter.
What changes were brought in her life?
Now she knows HOW TO HANDLE THE SITUATIONS. She is MORE CONFIDENT. She ACTIVELY PARTICIPATES IN COMMUNITY WORKS and lastly, she is getting education which is funded by OUR COMMUNITY.I have counseled her for several months on many issues. I have taught her how to be brave and I have told her how to ask for her rights.
Am I insane? Who am I? Where I am? Why me?
The questions were spoken by one of the next brilliant student of mine "C" who is again a "borderline" child and had many wishes to go on. But because of NO JOB PLACEMENT for him and NON SUPPORTIVE FAMILY, HE DECLARES HIMSELF AS A MENTAL, ILLETERATE, USELESS CREATURE ON THE EARTH. I taught her since 7 years and he is a true friend of mine. The problems, which he is facing in the community and society, are:
Firstly HE WANTS TO GO ABROAD. His wish is to see the world. Even though his family had been many times abroad but never took him with them because in their view their child is MENTALLY RETARTED. Secondly HE WANTS A GOOD JOB. Thirdly, HE WANTS TO TRAVEL BY BUS INDEPENDENTLY. He also wants to laugh and wants his family to love him. He wanted other to make him friend. He also wants to participate in sports.
HE WANTS TO REMOVE THE TERM "SPECIAL" FROM THIS SOCIETY.
I still remember that when "The world Trade Center" was abashed and I didn't know this news, this guy came to me and told me that,
"Did u hear the news that in New York America there was a blast in The World Trade Center?
This sentence shocked me and I asked her how do you know? He told me that I saw it on TV and sharing with you that why people are creating such riots in this world this is bad.
Are these words ever spoken by insane?
He is normal. I declare it and I mean it.
He is normal and perfectly all right. I asked him who entered you in our community special school?
He answered me that her mom admitted her in special committee.
He told me that he is not special and he doesn't like his parent for this kind of behavior towards him.
He want to start his own business for that he asked many times to his family to help him and to the community
people as well but no one showed him positive gesture for help.
WHAT I DID FOR HIM?
I taught him the jute work on bottle. He did that and started selling it in our community and in this way, he started his own small business. He wanted to participate in sports. I taught him badminton and bocce and by the grace of GOD, he participated in ALL Pakistan Special Sports in the year 2003. He needs a friend and he got me as a friend and many of my other students whom I give religious studies in our community also talks with him humbly and love him very much.
Now whenever he meets me, I see magnificent smile on his face. He wants just one thing that is the support from his family, which is still missing. He wants to sit in bus.
Now, He earns around $20 every month from his jute bottle work. When his family came to know about it, they threaten him not to do so because according to his family its an insulted work and they don't want him to sell his hand made decorated bottles in the market. His big brother has slapped him too, but still he is struggling for his rights and selling his bottles.
I want to ask every parents in this world that if their child is normal, can also think, can imagine every thing, then why community and family pressure is still in every society creates a barrier for them?
They don't have their own world of thought. They are also the part of us.
I, as a human being and a social worker tried to find work place for "C" but WHO WILL FIND A WORK PLACE FOR OTHERS?
What little change I have brought in his life?
Now he is selling decorated bottles hand made and he has gained a lot of confidence. He participates actively in social functions and he feels himself as a normal being
Our community is very supportive responsive, careful and being the part of this community I would like to say that though there are many community problems they are facing, but still I am trying my best to help them.
"Individual problems can be resolute easily but what about the problem of special people instill to be addressed worldwide".
One more student "D" who starts using drugs because of the carelessness of his family. He was not special but just because of the changes in his behavior; his family took him to enter the special school. His dream was to STUDY IN A NORMAL SCHOOL but his family shattered it. He wanted to work, but he was discouraged by many community people and in social gatherings by commenting him as a mental. He is now 20 years old. Changes that I brought in his life.
I met his family who co-operated with me and now he is studying in the normal school in class 6. He is actively participating in community service and he is now also the member of WORLD SCOUT. Great thing is that HE IS NOW
LIVING A NORMAL LIFE.
Now moving towards another brave hero who wants to become the Indian actor in his life.
He is talented, Brilliant and active. He LOVES TO DANCE, TO SING SONG AND TO PLAY ORGAN. He knows, how to cook food and how to prepare bed for sleep and many more things, but he lacks social gatherings. His name is "X", who lives his life actively. His dreams are unlimited...
WHAT I DID FOR HIM?
I taught him organ. I taught him singing. I listens to him and I am proud that now he is able to communicate
In social gathering with much more confidence.
There are many other students whose life was changed by little efforts of my community service. I came to know many of their problems and have tried my best to work for it.
WHAT HAVE I ACCOMPLISHED? HOW HAVE I MEASURED THE RESULT OF MY WORK?
I have tried my best to identify the problems, which they face in their daily lives.
I have tried to motivate my students to participate in International Events.
I have tried to counsel them and their parents.
I have resolute much of their problems.
I have tried to bring smiles on their faces
I have tried to find out work place for few students.
I have raised their issues in front of MINISTER FOR SPECIAL PEOPLE AND SOCIAL WELFARE FOR PAKISTAN, MISS ZUBAIDA JALAL, in the seminar organized by our community.
I have tried to aware my community by participating in debating issues and by writing awareness articles.
I have seen remarkable changes in behavior of some special students.
I have seen positive gestures of the society towards them.
Though I have not accomplished every thing but still I have accomplish some thing.
I have also tried to aware my other students gathering in religious education center and in my private tuition center about their rights, their expectation from the society, their dreams etc.
I taught my community, my students, their parents to be with them and to listen them. I have sit with special people to make them feel that they are also the part of our community.
I have Chitchat with them why??
To make them realize that they are not alone that we are here to listen them.
I have walked with them shared my feelings with them
Obviously this work is innovative and I have also gained a lot while bringing changes in their lives.
I never want to get reward for my social work because I know it'll receive it from God one day.
My work was never appreciated but personally, I am satisfied thyself by bringing change in their attitude and lives.
ALL I WANT IS TO RAISE MY VOICE INTERNATIONALLY FOR THEIR RIGHTS; FOR THEIR FREEDOM; TO SHARE WHAT THEY WANTS; I WANT TO SHARE MY EXPERIENCES; THE PROBLEMS THAT THEY ARE FACING AND WANT TO GIVE MY IDEAS HOW TO REDUCE THESE PROBLEMS.
I am just waiting for the platform to raise my voice and I wish that this international competition would help me to share my feelings with other delegates soon.
This work is innovative itself. Meeting different children,couseling them, meeting their parents, asking about their needs, loving them, caring them, thus every thing was magical and innovative. It has made me aware about their problems, about their needs and this work has changed my whole life too. I have tried my level best to work innovatively but My efforts would be more innovative if these ideas would be implemented by every community by joining hands with me as these ideas could only be possible to be addressed, if every society, every community will join their hands with me.
Inclusive education should be made compulsory in every school as the part of their curriculum.
Awareness campaign for student's parent's teacher should be raised in every community.
Their needs should be addressed.
Awareness should be made through telecasting movies and drama on their issues.
SPECIAL students should not be called special.
Competition should be raised in every community for younger students to make them aware about them and their rights.
They must get rights to study in normal schools with special needs.
Government should setup new curriculum for them.
Psychological testing should be made compulsory to identify their needs and area of attention.
They must get work place opportunity, which is lack in Pakistan. They must get jobs in government institutions also.
I CAN IMPROVE MY IMPACT,
By participating in international competitions to raise awareness.
By participating in awareness campaigns.
I want to do more courses. I want to study more about them and I want to write a book named as
I Adore Special People Why don't you? In order to aware this whole world about their rights.
By developing new curriculum for them the national policy level.
By providing them educational facilities and social justice.
I can improve my impact more by raising funds for them and by finding more work place opportunities for them.
By becoming the Ambassador for Special People in Pakistan.
By truly implementing the human right laws, made by UN.
By motivating them more enthusiastically.
By making them participate in more International contest.
I am now planning to design a teaching curriculum which will be integrated with audio visual aids and I also want to arrange workshop for community students teacher parents every one to aware them about their problem
They respect me and also I have seen a big difference in their attitude towards special people. I am making impact on my teacher with whom I teach. They love me and my work.
Youth must also devote their time to listen and care special people. Youth must help me to find work place for them.
Youth must aware every one in their own families about their rights.Youth must try to sought out the problems which they are facing. Youth must love them and respect them like I do, in every aspect of life and must learn some thing from their lives.Youth must learn from my experience that my struggle is the struggle of one and if they joins hand in hand then no matter what, special students can also become the part of our lives.
Munir Moosa Sewani is one of the prominent and creative teachers since 8 years. His vast experience at this early age has made him more active to work socially. He is a Master Trainer In Special Education, Research student, Teacher Educator and a Teacher. He is a Freelance Writer and Photographer too. He is an author of the famous self published story book for children named as "The MORAL STORIES FOR CHILDREN" the most demanded published book for the students of secondary on Biology and Pakistan Studies. He has written more than 30 articles on social, educational and cultural issues. His future plan is to work for media also in order to develop the sense of understanding through his creativity.