Sanjay Dalmia is a name that needs no introduction. The septuagenarian business mogul, whose industrial establishments include, among others, textiles, industrial chemicals, industrial explosives, and healthcare, desires to empower differently-abled underprivileged children by providing them with innovative educational programs that will help them to become self-reliant.
The first step taken by Mr Dalmia in this direction is ‘Masoom’, a school for children with special needs. Instituted under the umbrella of Organisation of Understanding and Fraternity in the year 2001, Masoom is helping several children realize their dreams, by training them to communicate with people and express themselves.
Situated in Timarpur, Delhi, Masoom started with just six underprivileged children with mental disabilities. With low or no levels of literacy or awareness, parents had no idea how to take care of their wards. Deprived of nurturance and care, of security and concern, these children were seen as a burden even to their own parents.
Nafees Khan, the secretary-general of Masoom, has seen the school grow from a humble beginning to the strength of 80 which it boasts now. Although he takes pride in the progress the school has made, he feels that it couldn’t have been possible without the patronage of Mr Sanjay Dalmia. “Although love is the most important thing in looking after these children, without money you can’t do much. It was Sanjay Dalmia, who inspired me to do all this work, and it is because of his efforts that the monetary expenditure of the school is taken care of,” informs Nafees.
Head of Corporate Affairs at Dalmia Group, Bhavna Sethi, believes that what differentiates this school from others is the fact that at Masoom, “Instead of simply sympathizing, we empathize with the children enrolled here.” She feels that the best part of this initiative is to see these special children getting empowered by the various forms of training they receive in the school based on their individual aptitudes.
The psychologists at Masoom discover the aptitude of the students and help the teachers in zeroing in on the core interest of the students. Basic Hindi, English and math are taught to these students, apart from the professional training. The courses for these students are selected on the basis of IQ level and age-group.
“My heart swells with pride when I see the latent potential which these children possess. My experience with them has been a truly inspiring one. It is only after being with them, I realized that one could learn a lot of things from children about determination – children who also possess an enormous zeal to prove their mettle, irrespective of their age and disability,” said Mr Sanjay Dalmia.
“These special children and their families need empathy, not sympathy. It is our duty as human beings to empower them to face life’s misgivings,” he added.