|Mr Anil Kundra|
A man of substance,
Who is he?
He makes do with little,
Or whatever he thinks he needs.
I see him with children,
Who don't get him much,
But they love him,
Oh, ever so much!
He has patience and some more of that,
Some greatness behind his human form,
And kindness in those bright eyes.
What makes someone great? Is it the way he lives his life or the way he wants to do things that one day would make a difference? For many such dreams remain just a dream and its not long before one starts to get bogged down with family demands and their own corporate aspirations.
I see a man, in his late fifties, changing my perspective about special needs children, once in for all. Anil Kumar Kundra has decided to follow his path in life. The only man who had the guts to realise his dreams. Yes, he has a family like everyone else does. He has beautiful children and a wife yet social service was something that actually bought him happiness and along the way- contentment. Which is the most important thing in life than anything else. And why do I say that? Because it's not just social service I am talking about. It's opening a whole new perspective of raising an individual with special needs. His residential school for Autism (Children and Adults) has made lives only better. I had the opportunity of staying there for quiet some time. And since it was in the outskirts I had thought that being away from the city would be difficult, that all i needed was a Mall or some fancy restaurants to be happy.
The routine at Autism Ashram is unique, keeping the standards high and the service with all the humbleness that would outshine any institution in the world. The Mess is named in the memory the child- Shubri who used to study with them but passed away after a tragic accident when she was home with her parents. The mess has steel utensils to maintain hygiene with visual instructions that help the children staying become independent. The in-house cooks are amazing with maintaining the menu where with meals you get to have snacks in between. They do have a hectic work schedule and are equally amazing with the children. Mr Kundra is always around, keeping a vigilant check on what is happening. I have even seen him making a dish or two, serving the children because I guess he such a genius around everyone.
Mr Kundra has chosen the location of Autism Ashram with one goal in mind- to keep oneself close to nature. The wide array of mango trees really is a pleasure to the eyes. The rose garden and the Zen Gardens with walking path where children get to develop their sensory feelings. The swimming pool has been added to give adequate exercise and play time during summers. And its all to the mastermind of Mr Kundra. No doubt that Autism Ashram is visually appealing.
He has also planned out the evening exercise programme where children have to walk for atleast an hour to keep them from being lazy also builds up a good appetite for the evening supper. The one to one caretakers being a vital part of the Ashram are like friends who helps them with their day to day chores.
Mr Kundra himself lives a simple life. He has a one room cottage with no TV which he shares with his wife Mrs Jyoshna Kundra- who has an equally admirable persona. She helps him with the planning of the Ashram and supervises the caretakers, keeping an uptight string, in case things go out of hand. I really am at awe at how this very unique residential school for Autism, is such a habitable place to be. To open such a big place with their own funds, one needs to have a lot of guts. But what makes you understand them is their belief in themselves.
Note: Autism, not many know what it is. And you need to. Really, when you see children or adults behaving in an unusual manner, remember that its you who feels uncomfortable, not them.
Here are a few pictures that will show you the dedication he has towards making this place a heaven on earth.
|The team with the students|
|The Shubri Mess|
|Sunset At Autism Ashram|
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