'This Diwali, members of Physically Handicapped Welfare Association in Visakhapatnam have their hands full'

Chinna Talli, a hearing impaired girl, seems to be excited to show sets of neatly stitched frocks for newborns. She flashed a pretty smile when complimented for her skill.

As one steps into the huge hall, a differently-abled N. Rama dusts the earthen diyas with shimmer powder giving them final touches as a group of girls along with a boy named Ganesh, settle down to design diyas in different shapes.

In another corner, a volunteer assists Asha, who is 80 per cent polio affected, with melted wax as she warily fills the lamps and candle making moulds with the hot liquid.

A sweet aroma fills the air as a cheerful team inside the kitchen work in tandem dishing out assorted snacks. With hair neatly tied back in net, Jayalakshmi was seen deep frying ‘murukulu’, ‘jantikalu’, ‘nimkis’ and fryums one after the other. A volunteer helps Raji to sieve the flour that gets into the snack mould after combining with water, salt and spices. As Ramanamma roasts urad dal on one side, Eswaramma joins to pack the crispy savouries in glossy covers.

Everyone contributes to keeping the ‘fun at work’ element alive. This Diwali, members of Physically Handicapped Welfare Association have their hands full. And they all have one leader to admire – founder-president of the association Ch. Satya, who is specially-abled. She lived her dream, breaking all the boundaries to empower the girls facing similar challenges.

Satya’s successful unit, under the brand name Sampoorna, began in fits and starts in the year 2001. She said: “Notebook making process was the first vocational course we took up. It turned out to be a disaster due to various reasons.

After intense market analysis and pooling funds, our training modules included candle making, paper bag designing, doormat crafting, sewing, cooking, toy-making and diya-making.” With good number of volunteers supporting the association donating clothes, edible items and a bunch of other requirements apart from Satya’s husband Ch. Babulu, assisting in every aspect, the centre provides food, shelter and salary to 15 specially-abled girls.

“The whole point is to bring about change through teaching survival skills and make a difference in their lives. My goal is to facilitate the girls setup small scale units where they can equip others with the specialised expertise. And it is an overwhelming sense of contentment to see them grow,” Satya concluded.

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