If you follow Advitya on any of its social media pages or if you have ever visited here, you probably have an idea of how happening a place this is. Every day brings with it a plethora of wonderful moments of laughter, frolicsome activities and profound lessons. The first and probably the single most important thing that I learned spending time here was how clueless I was throughout my life, like any average person, about the daily struggles of persons with special needs. It is truly astounding to notice just how many things in life we take for granted and how often we fail to recognize the challenges faced by others.
Therefore I was certain that a day spent outdoors with Advitya - especially at a place like Aquamagica - was bound to bring with it a lot of fun, challenges and insights.
Early in the morning of August 23rd, dressed proudly in their characteristic fluorescent green and bright orange ‘Advitya’ T-Shirts, Team Advitya set forth on a journey to a world of giant water slides and wave pools.
To be honest, I was slightly worried in the beginning. Worried, not for the students, but for the volunteers among us. It just seemed too heavy a task to manage more than twenty special students for a day in a potentially hazardous environment like a water park. In retrospect, I can clearly see that my fear had more to do with my inexperience and the novelty of it all than anything else. Also, it is worth mentioning that something similar happens with “normal” people when they interact with specially gifted people for the first time. We tend to underestimate their emotional intelligence and their ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
My personal favorite experience through the trip, hands down, had to be dancing in the wave pool with my special friends. I can never forget the expressions of joy all around me. At the end of the day, not many of my specially abled friends could articulate exactly how they felt, but I could see by the jolly faces and shattering cries of laughter that every one of them loved it as much as I did. Yes, on the way back, sleep and fatigue overcame everyone but it was all worth it, because we were carrying with us a bagful of sweet and happy memories to cherish for a lifetime.
I encourage anyone reading this blog who might hold any reservations, to make an effort to connect with every specially gifted person you might come across. Once you cross that barrier, you will surely be overwhelmed, to the point of tears, not just by the exhibition of heroic courage and spirit before your eyes but also by the shower of love and generosity that will come your way.
My name is Abhishek Vidhate and I am 19 years old. For almost three months now, I have been working at Advitya as an intern.
Photo courtesy : https://www.tweetspeakpoetry.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/promise-of-humanity-poetry-prompt.jpg