Respected Neena Ma’am, Elizabeth Ma’am, Mita Ma’am, all other Ma’ams of Anubhav Learning Centre, Didis, bhaiyyas, parents gathered here today at this function and other members in the audience. My name is Govind Krishna Dixit and I am the father of Hari and Anant who have been attending Anubhav Learning Centre for the past 9 years. I stand before you today with a very heavy heart as today is the sayonara, alvidaa and goodbye moment for my children to Anubhav Learning Centre. The boys transit to the next phase of the journey called ‘life’.
I therefore, (with your approval), want to tell a story about some very unique and special experiences. This is a saga that began in January, 2010 when my twin sons Hari and Anant, who were born in the United States of America in 2006, joined Anubhav Learning Centre as tiny three year olds. My wife Anshumali and I were desperately looking for a good Play School and Daycare Centre. We were introduced to Anubhav Learning Centre by one of our tenants in Kalkaji, where we live. Their daughter attended Anubhav.
My wife Anshumali, lives and works in the USA and I work for the Government of India as an Indian Revenue Service (Customs) officer. Upon my return from USA, I rejoined my duties at Delhi and was to live with my old parents and twin sons, both of whom were diagnosed to be autistic. I was to take care of the children here with my old parents, attend office and provide necessary treatment including therapy for autism to the children. At that time, these two boys had severe disability of speech, communication and social skills. They were not fully toilet trained too.
When my wife and I first visited Anubhav in early January 2010, my wife was struck by the warmth of the people at Anubhav – Liz Ma’am, the other Ma’ams and Didis and bhaiyyas including Praveen bhaiyya. The other thing that immediately came to her notice was the cleanliness maintained in the premises. With a very heavy heart she reconciled to sending her twins to Anubhav.
Now comes the unique part of this saga. Two children on the ASD Spectrum started attending Anubhav from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. in January, 2010. I must honestly confess that the adjustment process was not at all hunky dory, but the whole TEAM were so co-operative and gave us their 100 percent to settle the twins in. It was quite painful for me, their mother and my parents. Soon the children attended play school and day care at Anubhav and gained confidence day by day. My wife and I express our deep gratitude today to Liz Ma’am and the whole TEAM whose efforts enabled the children to get adjusted to a normal school through their extensive preparatory programmes.
Inspite of our best efforts, my children did not secure admission in any of Delhi’s well known schools with facilities for children with special needs like them. They were admitted to Genesis Global School, in Noida which was a considerable distance from our home. Their commute to the school every day involved long hours spent in the school bus which was very tiring and daunting. Today when I look back in hindsight, the admission to that school was a blessing in disguise for them. The school provided the right environment and facilities for them to grow. Play school at Anubhav had adequately prepared my children in advance to adjust to the big school environment and the methods of teaching there. Genesis Global School has excellent facilities for children with special needs like Hari and Anant and the children got speech therapy, occupational therapy and in-class assistance through special educators.
Now comes an important part in which Anubhav’s contribution is to be acknowledged today as stellar and exemplary. On no occasion, I repeat “on no occasion” since 2012, have my children missed being picked up by the Anubhav Van with a Didi from their school bus in the afternoon at their changeover point near Nehru Place flyover. Yes, due to traffic jams, the Van with the Didi did get, stuck but the Ma’ams at Anubhav, be it Sunita Ma’am, Liz Ma’am, Mita Ma’am, Garima Ma’am, Kiran Ma’am, Priyanka Ma’am and so many other Ma’ams, they were always in touch with the bus guard of the school bus, assuring him that the van would reach the appointed place in a few minutes. Such is the level of conscientiousness of this lovely team at Anubhav, so exceptionally groomed and guided by Anubhav’s Visionary Director Madam Neena Gulabani. The same flawless approach and performance was demonstrated when dropping the children home around 6 p.m. My parents, my wife and I have keenly observed over the years that Anubhav sets very high and demanding standards for itself and Neena Ma’am’s eagle eye and constant monitoring ensures their error free implementation.
Neena Ma’am, as I have seen and known her over the years, is a very inspirational leader. She believes in and practices Buddhist teachings and values in a very nice and congenial manner. Resultantly, people around her (including my children) have learnt and imbibed to some extent, admirable qualities of gratitude, empathy, care and politeness. These are great values for anyone to lead a peaceful and dignified life.
I do not stand here to read an eulogy in praise of Anubhav. I am here to express a family’s genuine feeling of appreciation and gratitude towards this wonderful institution called Anubhav Learning Centre and its remarkable people working under an extraordinary Director, Madam Neena Gulabani. Let me also inform this august gathering today that my wife has regularly visited India and Anubhav at least thrice a year and has always gone back with a feeling of a lot of assurance, satisfaction and joy about how Hari and Anant were shaping up at Anubhav. So is also the case with my older son Keshav, presently a medicine student at New York Medical College, New York. He would often come to drop his brothers or pick them up from Anubhav on his visits to India. He too expressed a lot of appreciation about this institution.
Let me take this opportunity to recollect some other notable achievements. The food and snacks provided at Anubhav are very healthy. My children never felt sick on account of any stomach upsets or food poisoning. They were exposed to a variety of activities like music, group singing, dance, painting, art, drama, exercises for fitness, games, unarmed combat techniques, celebration of festivals, visits to religious places, indoor games and other group activities. Consequently, they learnt to speak, communicate, read, write, social skills, not to forget some etiquette too. The Anubhav team’s constant contact and communication with parents of the children and in my case with their grandparents was remarkable. My children have by and large overcome their autistic disabilities thanks to the care and support they received here. As single parents living in different continents, my wife for herself and I for myself, we got the confidence to help our children to overcome their challenges with Anubhav’s valuable help and support. I and my wife will stay indebted to Anubhav forever.
Thank you Anubhav.