Towards Change Harshvardhan

He was different from other children in terms of his behaviour and his responses. When he was placed in a day boarding, frequent complaints from his teachers haunted his parents. The complaints were sometimes unusual like, he would soil his clothes with food , he would get aggressive with other students, and pretty frequently. There was constant nagging from his peers to which he would respond with aggression. His parents never believed that this could be anything out of the ordinary. They changed his school, placing him in yet another mainstream School. The complaints continued, Harshvardhan became quite aggressive and restless while internally he continued to struggle for 7 years in this school . Finally when the teacher told his parents that he is not prepared for the 10th grade, they pulled themselves together to confront facts and take steps accordingly. They got his IQ assessed again and made him join a Special School. They had got his IQ assessed before, but continued to let him be, attempting to compensate by arranging extra tuitions for him at home and also personally giving more attention to him

He would understand but was unable to convert that into writing. He was unable to produce his thoughts on paper. His parents succumbed to the circumstances and placed him in the Special Care wing of Kulachi  Hansraj School New Delhi. This is also where he joined the Special Olympics Bharat program, a few months back. “I do see a gradual change in him – he is getting calmer, friendlier, although he does not mix around too much still, as is his nature. He is extremely fond of his sisters. He is busy on the computer for a larger part of the day and loves watching movies. The Athlete Leadership University Workshop is his first participation in Special Olympics, and I feel that the program would help him strengthen his communications. In fact I have observed that his writing is improving – it has improved noticeably. I appreciated his writing yesterday.”- said his father.

 Harshvardhan participated in the Athlete Leadership University- workshop held in November 2017 in New Delhi exhibiting a promising potential. Aman Jain, a student of Class 11 (Commerce Stream) of the Kulachi Hansraj School came to know of the workshop. He has known Harshvardhan for a few months and on getting to know of the workshop , volunteered to participate as Harshvardhan’s ‘mentor ‘. Those three days got Aman to engage with a person with ID for the first time and that too so closely. He recounted the difference he observed in Harshvardhan between the first and the last days. The first day as he recounts, Harshvardhan kept telling Aman that he ‘Cant speak , there are too many people around’ but towards the end Harshvardhan told him that he likes ‘Public Speaking’, and he wanted to answer all the questions. He even shared his dreams with Aman!

My perception of persons with Intellectual Disabilities has changed- if they lack somewhere they are blessed with something much more as well. Every time I meet him I learn something new” says Aman

Aman found the workshop to be very helpful to Harshvardhan, specifically in removing his inhibitions to speak. Harshvardhan is very attracted to smart technology and dreams of setting up an institution where he can train Special children in using smart technology. He would ensure that everyone is treated alike. He wants to learn to speak better himself, so as to be able to train more persons. Harshvardhan can narrate a story he read in the newspaper a month back. He could not cope with the CBSE syllabus and therefore had to join the special wing. I felt amazing affection here – when we part ways we do a handshake, in such few days I saw everyone hugging each other. I think I have changed” Once Aman is through with his final exams in February, he is looking forward to achieving targets of the workshop with Harshvardhan.