News updates
Visit to the VAANI Siliguri Sadhan on Wednesday 1st May, 2019
Mrs. Ajita Gohain, Deputy head, programs, VAANI, Guwahati, and Mr. Tonny Dutta Ray, trainer from VAANI Kolkata both came to Rajni building at 11.00 am. Together with Mr. Nijhawan, Mr. & Mrs. Howard, Mr. Ajay Singh, Mr. S. Mishra the party moved by car to the Siliguri Sadhan, arriving there around 11.30 am.

Mr. Nijhawan and the RNCT guests were received by Mrs. Gohain and the head of the Sadhan . Mr. Tonny Dutta Ray introduced Mr. Nijhawan and the RNCT guests and they were given a warm welcome by the staff, students and parents of the children that were present.

As this was a working session, it was decided that Mr. Nijhawan would say a few words on how he felt the Sadhan was benefitting the local population and then he would field question from the parents. There were a few basic needs emphasised by the parents – (1) that they were happy with the way the Sadhan was functioning and the way their children were responding to the classes and the teachers. (2) as many parents had to bring their children from as far away as Kishanganj, it was requested if another Sadhan could be established in Kishanganj to cater for the children in that area. Mr. Nijhawan stated that he would look in to this request in consultation with the VAANI officials. (3) a request was made by a parent for 1 or 2 computers to be provided so that the elder children could be trained and could find some form of employment. This matter, too, would be looked in to in due course.

Thereafter, Mr. Nijhawan and the RNCT trustees and Mrs. Gohain adjourned to a separate room to permit Mr. Tonny Dutta ray to continue with the class curriculum for the day.

Before departing from the Sadhan, Mr. Nijhawan (and later Mrs. Howard) distributed packets of biscuits to each of the children on behalf of the RNCT trustees.


Mr. Nijhawan and Mr. Mishra distributing a gift to a child

Mr. Nijhawan giving a gift to a child at the Sadhan

Mrs. Howard distributing a gift to a child

Mr. Tonny giving a lesson to the chidren
 
Visit to North Bengal Council for Disabled - Prerana Education Center, Siliguri, on Tuesday 30th April, 2019
On Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, Mr. Nijhawan, Mr & Mrs. Howard, Mr. Ajay Singh, Mr. S. Mishra and Sukhen Sardar visited Prerana Education Center, Siliguri. The visitors were greeted by Mrs. Rita Sengupta, Director, Nbcd-Prerana Education Center, along with a few members of her staff. Mr. Nijhawan expressed his happiness at being able to visit the center after quite some time.

Thereafter, the visitors moved to Mrs. Sengupta’s office, where, three young blind girls sang a welcome song for the guests. Tea and sandwiches were served along with cold chhach and lime juice.

A brief discussion was held with Mrs. Sengupta. Mr. Nijhawan stated that he would like RNCT to become more involved with the actual working of Prerana – not as a donor but as a partner in their work. Mr. Nijhawan requested Mrs. Sengupta to send him a provisional balance sheet and profit and loss account of NBCD (nnorth Bengal Council for the Disbabled) together with her plans for the different projects undertaken by NBCD. Upon receipt of this information, he would see in what way RNCT could get involved in the work done by NBCD.

Therafter, the guests were taken on a tour of Prerana and were given the opportunity of watching children learning through braille, sound, sign language, and, the use of daisy recorders (some of which had been donated by RNCT earlier).

It must be noted that Prerana deals with deaf, blind, atustic, cerebral palsy and other physical handicapped children who are mainly from the tea plantations in the terai and dooars regions. These children, coming from very poor backgrounds, can only afford to pay the very minimum towards the facilities provided by Prerana. Some families are unable to pay anything at all. Still, the school provides the children with a mid-day meal (earlier, the government was subsidizing this meal but it had now stopped doing so). The school also provides them with vocational training in making various products. Also, a hostel facility is available for those children with special needs who cannot return to their homes for any reason.

Upon complettion of the guided tour of the school, the guests were treated to a lunch hosted by Prerana . The food was all cooked on the premises by one of the staff. Needless to say, it was a delicious meal with a large variety of dishes that were of both excellent quality and quantity.

Welcome song by the Blind Children at Prerana

Mrs. Sengupta and Mr. Nijhawan being introduced to the Staff in Prerana

Mrs. Sengupta and Mr. Nijhawan speaking to the Class at Prerana

Mr.& Mrs Howard with Mrs. Sengupta at Prerana

Handicrafts made by children at Prerana

Handicrafts made in Prerana
 
Visit to the Orchid Project, Prerana, Siliguri on Tuesday 30th April, 2019
On Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, Mr. Nijhawan, Mr & Mrs. Howard, Mr. Ajay Singh, Mr. S. Mishra and Sukhen Sardar visited Prerana Education Center, Siliguri.

The visitors were greeted by Mrs. Rita Sengupta, Director, Nbcd-Prerana Education Center, along with a few members of her staff. Mr. Nijhawan expressed his happiness at being able to visit the center after quite some time.

Mrs. Sengupta took the guests on a tour of the “ Rajni Project” … a project for growing orchids under Green House conditions which was run by parents of some of the children attending Prerana. Mr. Nijhawan had financed this project and It was given technical support by Mr. Utpal Banerjee who was a reputed floriculturist based in Siliguri.

Mrs. Sengupta explained that this was a small training project with the view to teach the parents how to grow orchids so that they could use this knowledge in their villages to grow these flowers and earn some money. The flowers produced in the “ Rajni Project” were being sold at a fixed price to Mr. Utpal Banerjee and the money earned was being shared between prerana and the parents involved in the project.
 
Visit to The Parcon ( India ) Private Limited, Siliguri Branch on Monday, 29th April, 2019
Mr. Nijhawan and Mr. Howard (accompanied by Sukhen) visited the Parcon (India) Private Limited, Siliguri branch premises at 11.00 am.

We were met by Mr. Vikas Srivastava, profit center head, siliguri branch and were shown around the premises and given a brief introduction to some of the new staff members. Both Mr. Nijhawan and Mr. Howard congratulated Mr. Srivastava and his team on the excellent maintenance of the premises. Mr. Nijhawan suggested that the spare space available should be cleaned up and the space rented out so as to gain some income. This matter was actively being looked in to by Mr. Mishra.

Mr. Bhupinder Singh Chhabra, Mr. Ajay Singh, Mr. Rakesh Rajgaria and Mr. P.P. Bhattacharya, Mr. S. Mishra, Mr. Prasanta Bose and Mr. Dipojjwal Saha, being among the older and more senior staff who ere already known, were greeted enthusiastically by Mr. Nijhawan and Mr. Howard.

After a brief discussion with Mr. Srivastava about the branch performance, staff, premises and the condition of the markets, auctions and private sales, and, after a snack of biscuits and a cup of tea, Mr. Nijhawan met the members of the branch marketing team for a meeting in the board room.

Mr. Nijhawan based his speech on matters of Hrd – training, succession plans, mentoring of staff, leadership and accepting more responsibility and accountability, how to retain staff from leaving he company (the loss of Md. Zubair Uddin was brought to the notice of Mr. Nijhawan), and, how to manage the work better so that everyone had more time to think about improvements and cost saving methods.

Further, it was also important to spend time with the family, and, to this end, the company had recently introduced alternate saturdays off. Mr. Nijhawan was pleased that Mr. Chhabra had taken on more responsibilities and he hoped that, in due course, Mr. Chhabra would be in a position to take over the branch and allow Mr. Srivastava to be made free to take on higher responsibilities in Kolkata. Mr. Nijhawan hoped that Mr. Rajgaria would improve upon the performance of the private sales department as there was a large scope for selling teas privately. This meeting lasted around 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The second meeting was held by Mr. Nijhawan with the staff members of accounts and edp.

Here again, Mr. Nijhawan stressed on the need for people taking on more responsibility and for being ware of why they were making statements, reports, balance sheets and profit & loss accounts. There was no use simply filling out reports and forms if those who made them did not know or understand why these reports were being made and what purpose they solved in helping to present data to the top management so as to aid them in decision making. This meeting again lasted around 1 hour.

Lunch at Barun’s

Mr. Nijhawan specifically stated that since he was in siliguri, he would like to have lunch at Barun’s restaurant on Sevoke road. It may be recalled that 15 years earlier, Barun was a small entrepreneur who did not have a proper shop and was catering to the Parcon picnic’s where he cooked and served the food. Upon mr. Rajiv Puri’s insistence, Barun was given a loan of Rs. 30,000/- by Mr. Puri with which he hired premises on Sevoke road, bought his cooking utensils, hired a few staff and started his own restaurant. Today, the palce was so popular with the locals that one had, literally, to wait 10-15 minutes to get a table. Mr. Srivatava ,very kindly, arranged with Barun so that the entire group could have lunch at the restaurant, the food, as usual, was simple but delicious and was appreciated by all concerned.

After lunch, mr. Nijhawan and Mr. Howard retired to their respective residences for a well earned rest
 
Visit to Hanshi Khushi on 5th April, 2019
On Friday, 5th April, 2019 Mr. J.C. Nijhawan and Mr. I.K. Howard visited Hanshi Khushi, a School for Persons with Special Needs which is supported by Rajni Nijhawan Charitable Trust and run by Mrs. Urna Bose in Golf Gardens, Kolkata .

Upon arrival, Mrs. Bose warmly welcomed Mr. Nijhawan and took great pains to show the Visitors around all the classrooms to witness the activities being undertaken with different groups of students. The stress being on communications and vocational skills.

Both Mr. Nijhawan and Mr.Howard were very happy to see the progress made and to have the opportunity of seeing how the Team of highly trained , skilled, motivated, dedicated and compassionate Teachers , under the able guidance and supervision of Mrs. Urna Bose, were able to deal with the Special Needs of these differently abled persons.

Mrs. Bose showed Mr. Nijhawan and Mr. Howard some of the products made by the Students. These included Paper Folders, Paper Gift Packetsand Handmade Paper Gift Bags. A Catalogue of these items is attached.

Similarly, the Students grind and make various pure masalas and seal them in to packets. These are priced at a very reasonable rate and are now being sold in the local stores. Being produced under hygienic conditions and being of pure raw materials, the response to these spices has been very good.

Mr. Howard suggested that Mrs. Bose could also examine the possibility of getting a Hand-Pressed Paper Plate making machine. This couldgive the students an additional source of income and also teach them a new skill. Mr. Howard stated he would look in to this and advise Mrs. Bose on the availability of these machines in Kolkata.

The well-wishers of Rajni Nijhawan Charitable Trust and all those who visit the RNCT website and see this article are requested to extend their cooperation to these students in Hanshi Khushi, by ordering some products made by these students or some of the spices manufactured in this School.

Whatever money is collected from the sale of these items is used by Hanshi Khushi to finance students whose parents cannot afford to pay for their wards to be taken care of. It is all for a Good Cause and your Orders will help the School to provide better facilities to the Students.

Before leaving, Mr. Nijhawan requested Mrs. Bose to send in her Budget for the next year as the present MOU would be expiring in the third week of April, 2019 together with any Plans that she might have for expanding / improving the facilities at the School.
Click to view catalogue of Hanshi Khushi Products
Click to view catalogue of Hanshi Khushi - Ground Masala
 
Trip to Malancha Sadhan on 2nd April, 2019
On Tuesday, 2nd April, 2019 Mr. Nijhawan accompanied by Mrs. Snigdha Sarkar, Founder Member of " Anwesha Kolkata "- an Association of Parents of Deaf children - who are also running a School for deaf children in Kolkata, Mr. Ravi Thapa, a newly elected Trustee to the Board of Rajni Nijhawan Charitable Trust, Mr. Tony Datta Ray of Vaani Deaf Foundation, Kolkata and Mr. Ian Howard , visited the Sadhan at Malancha which is presently run under the auspice of Vaani Deaf Foundation in collaboration and with the support of Rajni Nijhawan Trust.

The Visitors were greeted on arrival by Muslima Begum, the Community Mobilizer of the Malancha Sadhan and on whose land in the village the Sadhan premises have been built and maintained. Muslima, herself, has two children who are deaf and who attend the Sadhan.

As this was a day when the Sadhan was fully functioning, there were several Parents, together with their deaf Children , who were present at the teaching centre attending classes with their wards and learning communication skills, mixing with other Parents who have deaf children, exchanging views and experiences and learning how to teach their children how to read and write.

Muslima Begum explained that the participation of the Parents was an essential part of the childs learning experience , as, the children were present at the Sadhan for only a couple of hours a week. The rest of the time was spent at home, and, therefore, it was imperative that the Parents continued the lessons learnt at the Sadhan at home and also increased their communication levels with their wards.

We take this opportunity to thank Mr. Tony Datta Ray from Vaani Deaf Foundation for being with us and for conducting a live training demonstration for the Team of Visitors.

We would also express our sincere thanks to Mrs. Snigdha Sarkar for taking time off from her busy schedule at her own School for Deaf Children in Kolkata, to accompany us so as to see for herself the work being done by Rajni Nijhawan Charitable Trust in collaboration with Vaani in Malancha and the surrounding remote villages .
 
Visit to Anwesha Kolkata on 27 March 2019
Anwesha is an Association of Parents who have Deaf children and who have come together under this umbrella to try to assist each other and their own children . The idea is to teach the parents and children how to communicate with each other, how to learn to read and write so as to get a basic education and how to learn skills that will enable them to move in to the main-stream and become useful members of society. There are 22 children and their parents who are currently enrolled in the School. From the work seen at the School, the Anwesha Team ( both parents and Teachers) are doing an excellent job in catching these deaf children when they are young, getting them fitted out with hearing aids, and, then teaching them through books, pictures, sign language and other teaching aids on how to gain the confidence to read, write and speak.
 
Achievement of a student at Sadhan Siliguri
Subheccha Ray is a young girl who is deaf. Yet, this has not deterred her in her efforts to lead a full and satisfying life. She is a very talented your lady and has won prizes in Art, Athletics and Table Tennis. The old motto “ Through Courage to Victory “ surely defines this young lady. We wish her every success in all her future endeavours.
 
Hanshi Khushi Annual Exhibition 2018, was held on 29th September
HanshiKhushi, where "A Smile Meets a Smile", was started in 2006 by Mrs. Urna Bose and is a Centre for the challenged children and adults with special needs. It’s aim is to make these students self-reliant, by teaching them daily living skills and functional academics, so as to allow them to become an integral part of the community at large. It also gives solace to the Parents of these differently abled persons to know that they are not alone and that their burden was being shared by people who actually cared.

In May, 2018, an Agreement was signed between RajniNijhawan Charitable Trust (RNCT) andHanshiKhushi whereby, working in collaboration, HanshiKhushi would run the entire operations at the Centre and RNCT would contribute some funds to be used in running the Centre.

On 29th September, 2018, HanshiKhushi held it’s Annual Exhibition, 2018 at the Centre located on Jadavpur Central Road, Kolkata. Mrs. Urna Bose had, very kindly, invited Mr. J.C. Nijhawan and Mr.I.K.Howard from RNCT to visit the Exhibition to see for themselves the work and progress made by the students of the Centre.

Accordingly, Mr. Nijhawan and Mr. Howard visited HanshiKhushi on 29th September, 2018 and were greatly impressed by the wonderful array of handicrafts made by the Students as well as the excellent quality of the home-made spices that the Students were producing for sale to the stores in Kolkata.

The joy, pride and happiness shown by the Students and Teachers in the progress made by these challenged students was a humbling experience.A few photographs taken at the function are attached.
 
A few photos of the computer donated and installed at the Vaani Sadhan in Siliguri in the presence of Mr. S. Mishra, Trustee and Mr. Ajay Singh, General Manager, Parcon ( India ) Pvt. Ltd. - Click to view more
Utilization Certificate for the Donation for the “Sadhan”, Siliguri for 2017-18 - Click to view
New MOU for the “Sadhan”, Siliguri from 1st June 2018 to 30th May 2019 - Click to view
Progress Report on Project “ Sadhan”, Siliguri, from March 2018 to May 2018 - Click to view
Progress Report on Project “ Ankur”, Malancha, Kolkata from December 2017 to May 2018 - Click to view
Donation of four Lenovo Phab2 Tablets to Prerana Education Center, Siliguiri by Rajni Nihawan Charitable Trust on 24th May, 2018
Mr. Howard, Trustee, RNCT had requested Mrs. Rita Sengupta, Director, Prerana Education Center, Siliguri to let him know if the Center needed anything for improving the education of the children of multiple disabilities that attended School at Prerana.

On 21st April, 2018 Mrs. Sengupta advised that the School really needed some Tablets for use in teaching non-verbal and hearing impaired student in Prerana. Lessons could be loaded on to these Tablets and the learning experience of these types of children could be expanded and made more interesting.

Accordingly, RajniNijhawan Trust arranged for 4 Lenovo Phab2 Tablets and donated the same to Prerana.

Attached are some photographs taken during the presentation ceremony conducted by Mrs. Sengupta at Prerana on 24th May, 2018. Mr. S. Mishra, Trustee and Mr. ParthaPratim Bhattacharyya from Parcon( India ) Private Limited, Siliguri attended the function and presented the Tablets on behalf of RNCT.

Mrs.Sengupta expressed her gratitude to RNCT for the kind favour of providing such tablets for the benefit of the students and the students happiness is reflected in the photographs.

The Trustees are very happy that this small donation willhelp generate interest and give a better learning experience to the children suffering from these types of disabilities.
 
Vaani officials in Kolkata for meeting with trustees of RNCT on 22ndMay, 2018 at Tivoli Court, Kolkata.
On Tuesday, 22nd May, 2018 Mr. Nijhawan, Mr. Rajiv K. Puri andthe other Members of the Trust had the pleasure of welcoming Mrs. Brinda Crishna, Chairman, Vaani, Mrs. Sumedha Joglekar, Director, Mrs. Bhavani Arumugham, Head of Programs, Mrs. AjitaGohain, Deputy Head Programs and Mr. Tony DuttaRay, Assistant Manager, Training & Policy Research to the Rajni Nijhawan Charitable Trust ( RNCT) Office in Tivoli Court.

Mrs. Crishna, very kindly, introduced Mrs. Joglekar and Mrs. Arumugham who were visiting RNCT for the first time to Mr. Nijhawan and the Trustees.

The purpose of this Meeting was to discuss and explore ways and means on how to strengthen and expand the collaboration between RNCT and Vaani and to look at more avenues to reach out to deaf children, both in Kolkata, Assam and even New Delhi so that more hearing-impaired children and their parents could receive the benefit of the gift of learning and communication imparted by the trained staff from Vaani so that they, too, could communicate effectively with each other and learn to integrate and become meaningful contributors to society.

The main discussions centered around the following points:-
1. Renewal of the Agreement for the Siliguri Sadhan co-sponsored by RNCT which was due to expire on 31st May, 2018. It was mutually agreed that the MOU would be renewed for another year on the same terms and conditions with the only change being a 10% increase in Teacher’s salaries.

2. Opening of a new Sadhan in New Delhi – Mr. Nijhawan suggested that as Mrs. Preeti Puri ( sister-in-law of Mr. Rajiv Puri ) who lived in Delhi was very keen to get involved in working with Vaani and helping deaf children, it would be mutually beneficial to both RNCT and Vaani to set up a Sadhan in Delhi. Mrs. Crishna opined that this center could also be used as a liaison office by Vaani to try to influence the Government to assist the hearing impaired. As Mrs. Preeti Puri was abroad, it was agreed that Mrs. Joglekar would contact Mrs. Puri by the end of June, 2018 and discuss the ways and means of establishing this Sadhan. Obviously, a survey would need to be undertaken before any firm decision could be arrived at on the feasibility of this Sadhan.

3. Mrs. AjitaGohain explained how Vaani, in collaboration with the Government of Assam, was able to set up Sadhans in Assam for the benefit of the deaf children. Mrs. Gohain agreed to send some proposals for expanding the role of RNCT in the projects in Assam. Mr. Nijhawan welcomed this suggestion and stated that the proposals would be examined, and, if funds permitted, RNCT would definitely consider getting involved in this area.

4. Mr. Tony Datta Ray’s suggestions regarding the Sadhan in Malancha, West Bengal were discussed. Mr. Ray had recommended the construction of two toilets in the Sadhan. He was requested to obtain 2 estimates for the work which should be submitted to RNCT. Also, Mr. Nijhawan requested Mr. Ray to look in to methods of providing clean drinking water for the students, parents , teachers and guests who visited the Sadhan. RNCt would pay for an Aquaguard if required.

5. Mr. Howard requested Mrs. Crishna to put him in touch with people in Kolkata who could provide English classes to 2-3 local children. Mrs. Crishna stated that she would send him some contacts as soon as she returned to Bengaluru.
 
Visit to Vaani - RNCT Sadhan in Siliguri on 09th May, 2018, report by Mr. S. Mishra, Trustee
I attended the Sadhan parents training programme on 09th May, 2018 which was quite impressive and interesting. I spent more than two hours at the Sadhan and was very happy to see the enthusiasm of the parents of the students and the methods used By Mar. Tony to educate both the children and their parents.

I would thank Mar. Tony for taking all the trouble of coming from Kolkata and teaching the students. His guidance to parents to perform as how to teach their children is really appreciable. He also mentioned to the parents that such events wont have been possible without support of RNCT.

1. The Centre functions in a two room and one hall residence which seems to be very cosy with the attendance on the particular day. NO enough free space for movement.

2. There are some 25 parents in the Centre with their children to participate in the programme on that day. Two regular teaching faculty at the moment.

3. Health and hygiene of the children is a concern as the assembly hall has an attached bathroom.

Interacting with Mos. Soma Nag and the parents present, the followings requirements need to be looked into.

1. At least monthly visit of Mar. Tony, which will help the parents to follow up and faster learning of their children. Also the progress of the children can be assessed by Mar. Tony. I propose if we can manage it at least Bi-monthly in the beginning. At the moment there are maximum two to three visits during a year.

2. Some Cup Boards for storage of Files and documents. I have identified one wooden unused Almirah of RKP Esq at Rajni and he has kindly consented to take it into use. Also we have two working desk with drawer and cupboard from our old office, which I propose to send the centre which will suffice the purpose for time being.
 
Dendrobium Orchid growing Project At Prerana Education Centre , Siliguri Sponsored By Mr. Jagdish Chandra Nijhawan.
In June, 2017, Mr. Jagdish Chandra Nijhawan, Managing Trustee & Settlor of the RajniNijhawan Charitable Trust ( RNCT) and some other Trustees visited the Prerana Education Center, Siliguri that is run by Mrs. Rita Sengupta under the auspices of the North Bengal Council for the Disabled.

During this visit, Mrs. Sengupta introduced Mr. Nijhawan and the other RNCT Trustees to Mr. Utpal Banerjee, Owner of Bandhunagar Agro Farms, Dist. Jalpaiguri, who is an expert on floriculture and has considerable experience in growing exotic flowers in Siliguri, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Assam and West Bengal. Mr. Banerjee had suggested that if Mrs. Sengupta could spare a small portion of land within the Prerana Educational Center, he and his Team would be willing to set up a Polyhouse in which Dendrobium Orchids and other cut-flowers could be grown. Mr. Banerjee also provided a write up on the Orchids which is attached for your perusal.

Mrs. Sengupta mentioned that since there were a number of parents from the nearby villages that brought their children to Prerana for schooling and had to sit idle till the classes were over, these people could be trained in the art of cultivating, caring for the plants, harvesting the flowers and packing them for sale. Mr. Banerjee further agreed that his Company would arrange to buy the cut-flowers at a reasonable price so that both the persons engaged in the cultivation as well as Prerana could get some benefit from this Project. The cost of doing all this, including the raw materials, bulbs, fertilizers etc. was approximately Rs. 1.63 lacs. Mr. Banerjee agreed to waive his professional fees as a special case. Mr. & Mrs. Banerjee then gave the Trustees present a brief demonstration on his computer on how the Orchids were grown .

Mr. Nijhawanwas very impressed with this presentation and expressed his willingness to sponsor this Project, provided that Mrs. Sengupta was willing to provide the land required. Mrs. Sengupta was happy to assure Mr. Nijhawan and Mr. Banerjee of the full support of Prerana, both in terms of the land required for the polyhouse as well as parents for training in this field of flower growing.

Due to the monsoons and the busy schedule of Mr. Banerjee, actual work on this Project only commenced in October, 2017. Mr. Nijhawan has, personally, paid the entire amount of Rs. 1.63 lacs for the establishment of this Project in Siliguri.

We are very pleased to inform all concerned that the polyhouse is functioning well and flowers are being grown successfully. A few pictures are attached showing the plants under production.
Click for more details about Dendrobium Orchid growing project.
 
 
Visit to Hanshi Khushi, 26/1, Jadavpur Central Road, Kolkata - 700032 on 11th May, 2018
Mr. Jagdish Chandra Nijhawan, Mr. I.K. Howard and Mr. SugataGhosh visited the HanshiKhushi School for mentally challenged persons on 11th May, 2018.

This School is run by Mrs. Urna Bose who is ably assisted by a group of trained teachers all skilled in imparting various skills in communications, arts and crafts to the students present. A few photos taken during the visit are attached. Mr. Nijhawan was very impressed at the good work being done for these differently abled persons and was very happy to see the commitment, patience, passion and hard work being put in to the School by Mrs. Bose and her Staff. It is , indeed, a humbling experience to witness the hard work being put in by a few dedicated individuals to try and make the lives of the less privileged and less fortunate members of our society more meaningful.

The purpose of this visit was to discuss the possibility of RajniNijhawan Charitable Trust (RNCT) entering in to collaboration with HanshiKhushi.

After a tour of the classes in progress and a brief introduction to the Teachers and the students a detailed discussion was held between Mrs. Bose and Mr. Nijhawan on the possibility and methodology on RNCT and HanshiKhushi entering in to a collaboration.

While Mrs. Urna Bose and her team would provide the operational expertise and handle the day to day running of the School, RNCT would contribute the finances to keep the place functioning.

It was agreed that Mrs. Bose would arrange to submit a Project Report to RNCT as soon as possible, and, once the Project was received, it would be placed before the Board of Trustees of RNCT for their approval.

It is hoped that RNCT would soon work closely with Mrs. Bose to not only improve the facilities provided but also to expand the scope of activities so that more people could benefit from this program in future.

Click to view latest report on Hanshi Khushi
 
Joint-Visit by RNCT and VAANI Officials to the Ankur Sadhan, Malancha on 25th October, 2017
On 25th October, 2017 we had the privilege to have Mr. Vinod Pandey, Director, VAANI accompanied by two local Executives – Mr. Avijit Naskar and Mr. Tonny Dutta Ray – who travelled with Mr. Nijhawan and myself to visit the Ankur Sadhan at Malancha. After a brief chat and a cup of tea together, Mr. Pandey presented Mr. Nijhawan with a book of Poems – The Genie Smiles - written by Laura Sheahen. The Author’s Poems have been published in the UK and US. She has contributed all the Royalties from the sale of her book of Poems to VAANI. Thereafter, we boarded our respective vehicles and proceeded on the journey to Malancha.

Upon arriving at Malancha, we were greeted by MuslimaBibi and the Community Mobilizer and we were pleased to see that a group of children, together with their parents, were already attending a class in communications given by two Teachers from VAANI.

Mr. Nijhawan was shown the Attendance Register for the month of October. The Target was for the Sadhan to have 50 children enrolled. So far, 38 enrollments had taken place and the children had been attending classes fairly regularly.

After observing how the Teachers communicated through sign language and via pictures of various fruits and alphabets for some time, Mr. Pandey requested Mr. Nijhawan to present to the Sadhan the Audiometer that had been purchased using the funds donated by RNCT .An audiometer is a machine used for evaluating hearing acuity. It usually consists of an embedded hardware unit connected to a pair of headphones and a test subject feedback button, sometimes controlled by a standard PC. Such systems can also be used with bone vibrators, to test conductive hearing mechanisms.

Mr. Nijhawan very kindly consented and the presentation of the Audiometer was made amidst a round of thanks and applause of Mr. Nijhawan and RNCT for this very valuable gift.

Mr. Pandey then requested Mr. Howard to present the Speech Trainer machine that had also been bought out of the funds donated by RNCT. This machine is used for auditory training of the hearing impaired.

Mr. Howard consented and made the presentation of the Speech Trainer to the students.

After this Mr. Avijit Naskar gave a demonstration on how the Audiometer was actually used in the field. A young girl was selected and it was ascertained that she had around 80% hearing loss in her left ear and almost 96% hearing loss in her right ear. However, the most heart-warming moment was the expression on the face f the child when, for the first time, probably, she actually heard a sound in her right ear.

Another demonstration of how the Speech Trainer machine was used in the field to teach deaf children was given by Mr. Naskar. Here, a young boy was chosen as the candidate, and, he was made to repeat the sounds of word etc. It was, indeed, a very satisfying experience to see the children responding to these lessons.

A short break was called so that both the Parents, Children and Teachers could get a break. In this time, in typical village hospitality fashion, MuslimaBibi arranged for tea and biscuits to be served.

After the break, Mr. Pandey requested Mr. Nijhawan to make a brief statement on his experience with working with VAANI over the last couple of years and how he felt about the progress being made at the Ankur Sadhan. A Video was made of the interview given by Mr. Nijhawan.

Thereafter, we said our farewells to the Teachers, Parents and Children at the Sadhan Centre and returned, tired, buy happy and satisfied that we had all experienced a good and useful visit to Malancha.

JCN and Mr. Vinod Pandey-Director, VAANI

JCN donating the Audiometer to Ankur students

IKH donating Speech Trainer to Ankur Students

Ankur girl hears a sound for the first time using audiometer

Boy using the Speech-Trainer machine

JCN gifted with Book of Poems-The Genie Smiles

Malancha class taught by Mr. Das

Malancha Class taught by Mr. S. Singh
 
Visit to VAANI Sadhan Centre, Siliguri on 28th June, 2017 at 11.00 am
On 1st June, 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was executed between VAANI Deaf Children’s Foundation and Rajni Nijhawan Charitable Trust (RNCT) to work in collaboration to run a Sadhan Centre for deaf children and their parents in Siliguri. VAANI would provide the infrastructure, Teachers, Community Mobilisers and conduct the training classes and RNCT would provide a part of the funding operations to assist VAANI to run the Centre. Click for more details.

Children at the workshop

Children's work papers

Entrance to Sadhan in Siliguri

JCN with Teacher

Mr. Nijhawan & Ms. Sen

Ms. Gohain with Mr & Mrs. Puri

Vaani & RNCT Promotional Board

Parents of Deaf Children

Teacher

Mrs. Puri receives welcome gift

Mrs. Puri

Olympic contestant

Mrs. Gohain

Parents and children
 
Visit to Prerana Education Centre, Siliguri on 27th June, 2017 at 11.00 am
Mr. J.C. Nijhawan, Managing Trustee, Mr. Rajiv K. Puri, Trustee – together with his family, Mrs. Malini Puri and Miss Kanika Puri, and, Mr. I.K. Howard, Trustee and Mrs. Marianne Howard, visited the Prerana Education Centre (PEC) which is operating under the auspices of the North Bengal Council for the Disabled (NBCD) and run under the able leadership of Mrs. Rita Sengupta, Director PEC. This Centre caters to children who are deaf, blind; suffer from cerebral palsy, autism and multiple disabilities. Click for more details.

Blind children's welcome song

Childrens at Prerana, deaf but still smiling

Farewell

Gift to Parcon from Prerana

JCN - Computer Presentation

JCN

JCN PKP

JCN

Mrs. Rita Sengupta

RKP & Fly

Shopping

Smile through all adversity

Tabla Player

Weaving

Kanika with children in Prerana

Mr & Mrs Utpal Banerjee

Mrs. Puri viewing Prerana projects

Mrs. Rita Sengupta - Welcome to Prerana
 
Visit to The “Ankur “Project in Malancha on 31st May, 2017
The Trustees are pleased to advise that Mr. Ratindra K. Puri, brother-in-law of Mr. J.C. Nijhawan, who had retired as Chairman & Managing Director of Lear Corporation, India, and, who is currently on the Advisory Board of World Wildlife Fund, India has agreed to join the Board of Trustees of RNCT, and, has also accepted to take over charge as Managing Trustee from Mr. Nijhawan in due course.

On 31st May, Mr. Nijhawan, Mr. Ratindra K. Puri and Mr. Howard along with Mr. Avijit Naskar , the local Representative of VAANI visited the Sadhan Centre in Malancha. The purpose of the visit was for Mr. Nijhawan to introduce Mr. Puri to Muslima Bibi and also to show him, first-hand, how the money donated by RNCT had been utilised. Mr. Puri was able to inter-act with the Teachers, Students and Parents present and was able to get a feel of how the collaboration between RNCT and VAANI to assist the deaf children was functioning and to see for himself how the children were being taught, through sign language and speech therapy. Various registers and books showing the attendance, teaching plans etc were explained to Mr. Puri by Mr. Naskar.

To commemorate this visit, the Trustees, in consultation with Mr. Avijit Naskar, gifted each child who attended the class with a pencil box (containing one pencil, one eraser, one ballpoint pen, one pencil sharpener, one ruler and 12 pieces of coloured crayons) and a bag of mixed sweets. The parents of the children who were present were given packets of tea, as, in deference to Ramazan, no food items could be gifted. Mr. Ratindra Puri, as the Chief Guest, was kind enough to give away the gifts

Mr. Nijhawan explained to Mr. Puri that there was tremendous need for another Sadhan ( if not more), to be established in one of the adjoining villages as there were a number of children that were unable get any kind of schooling or help with speech related problems.

Further, RNCT since the Board of Trustees had approved the new VAANI Proposal to get involved in another Sadhan in Siliguri on similar terms and conditions, the Trust would be entering in to an Agreement shortly to operationalize the deal.

Mr. Ratindra K. Puri was impressed by the good work being done by Muslima Bibi, VAANI and the Trust and was full of praise for the efforts put in by everyone to help the deaf children become useful members of the society.

 
The VAANI “Ankur “Project in Malancha - supported by Rajni Nijhawan Charitable Trust
The pinnacle of empowering disabled individuals and their families is when parents of deaf children take the initiative to be leaders in their own communities. Muslima Bibi and the Malancha Sadhan Resource Centre are shining examples of such inspirational stories.

Muslima Bibi is a young mother of three. She lives in a little village near Malancha, 56 km. from Kolkata. Four years after she had her second son, she discovered that he was deaf. She spent the next four years going from one facility to another across the state, but was unable to find the right kind of help. The pain of not being able to communicate with her child was growing. She eventually heard about Vaani and decided to visit.

Just around that time, she had her third son, who she later found out was deaf too. She has since been bringing both her deaf sons to the Vaani Sadhan Resource Centre in Kolkata diligently, despite having to travel three hours one-way for each trip.

Once the news about finding the right kind of services for her children spread across her village, other parents of deaf children began to approach her for details. But for most of them, the 3-hour travel was too much. Muslima began to see the need for such services in her village, and decided to take the initiative. Little over a year ago, she approached Vaani to start services in Malancha.

She offered up her cowshed as space, and identified four other deaf children who would attend. Vaani started sending her one Teacher of the Deaf for one day of the week.

Just 11 months later, she had 22 deaf kids enrolled!

For months, she made it work under the cowshed. But it really was just a cowshed. It was unsecured, and had no doors that could be locked. After each day’s lesson, Muslima would lock all the teaching and learning materials in a box, and keep it away in her house. She would also unhook the fan and light so that it would not be stolen. During the rains, the roof would leak and damage the toys and materials. Muslima and the other parents expressed their wishes to have a pucca structure, and expanding it to accommodate growing numbers. They also wanted to make their Link Centre a self-reliant one.

Vaani took Muslima’s story of courage and initiative to prospective donors. Soon enough, the Rajni Nijhawan Charitable Trust picked up on it. They were so moved by the story that they decided to fund the entire renovation of the cowshed, and a second room to accommodate the growing numbers. Without the generous support of the Rajni Nijhawan Charitable Trust, Muslima’s dream would not have materialised.

Construction began on the new Malancha Sadhan Resource Centre in November 2015. Slowly and gradually, the structure took shape, rising from its foundations. The parents of Malancha contributed in any way they could.

Despite challenges along the way, the structure was finally completed mid-2016, giving the kids of Malancha a new place to study and learn and develop.

Muslima Bibi at the newly inaugurated Malancha Sadhan Resource Center

This two-year long journey turned out to be one of the most gratifying and reassuring experiences for everyone involved in the venture. It proved that if organisations persevere, their beneficiaries will take their work forward themselves. Seeing parents take the initiative to give back to their communities is always lovely and inspirational. It nurtures a sense of camaraderie, and lets every parent know that they aren’t alone in their struggles. The team at Vaani is hopeful of what the future holds for the deaf children of Malancha.

 
Completed Sadhan Center at Malancha financed by Rajni Nijhawan Charitable Trust
A building for Sadhan Resource Center has been built with the financial aid by Rajni Nijhawan Charitable Trust. The trust is pleased to see the good job done in providing the deaf children, their parents and the Teachers a decent place to study with proper tables, lights, fans and floor mats etc. At the moment 27 deaf children are studying at this Sadhan Center.

RNCT are now enetering in to further collaboration with VAANI Deaf Foundation to upgrade this Sadhan Center so as to accommodate 50 deaf children and to provide them with books, training aids, extra teachers and Community Mobilisers etc so as to widen the reach of this Sadhan Center to more children in the villages around Malancha. RNCT will take over the funding of this Sadhan Center as its own project.Here are the pictures of the new building.

 
Presentation of 5 pcs Karishma Angel Daisy Recorders to the Blind and handicapped children of Prerana School, Siliguri
RNCT has  recently donated 5 pcs of the Karishma Angel Daisy Recorders to North Bengal Council for the Disabled – Prerana School, Siliguri. These handsets are been used to record e-books for the children who are studying for the State exams so that they have access to various books in the syllabus. Mrs. Rita Sengupta, Head of the School, has said that the children are greatly benefitted by this gift.

MR. S. MISHRA, TRUSTEE, RNCT WITH THE CHILDREN AND STAFF MEMBERS

MR. S. MISHRA, TRUSTEE, RNCT, DISTRIBUTING DAISY PLAYERS TO THE CHILDREN

MR. S. MISHRA, TRUSTEE, RNCT, DISTRIBUTING DAISY PLAYERS TO THE CHILDREN

MR. S. MISHRA, TRUSTEE, RNCT, DISTRIBUTING DAISY PLAYERS TO THE CHILDREN

JULI DISPLAYS HER COMPUTER SKILLS TO MR. MISHRA, TRUSTEE, RNCT
Home About the organization Constitution Trustees Objectives Projects Future Plans Financial Documents Guest Book Contact Voluntary participation Donate Now