They pass Diwali test

Savera run by the Maharashtra State Women's Council has an associated workshop where goods for daily use are made by the differently-abled

The city is already in the Diwali mood, but for a group of differently-abled the festival of lights means much more than fun, sweetmeat, glittering lights and colourful fireworks. It's a time to reinforce their faith in their ability to overcome mental challenges and also a test of the vocational training Savera Day Care Centre and its associated workshop gives them.

They have passed the test, judging from the sale of Diwali goods made by putting to use what they have been taught. The goods they made have earned them a neat Rs 38,000.

Savera (which means dawn) run by the Maharashtra State Women's Council has an associated workshop where goods for everyday use are made by the differently-abled. Special goods are made for occasions like Diwali and sold through exhibition-cum-sale.

The money earned is used to educate the 28 children who are an intrinsic part of Savera. The daycare centre looks after mentally-challenged children and teens aged from 7 to 18. The action shifts to the workshop for those who cross 18 years.

"The aim is to impart academic education and vocational skills to them. The idea is to make them self-reliant and financially independent. The needs of each child are special. After they cross 18 years, they are shifted to the shelter workshop. Those above 18 years had crafted the Diwali items."

"Annually, we generate Rs 1 lakh selling what they make. The Diwali sale has been over Rs 38,000," said Anjali Kale, administrator at Savera Day Care Centre and workshop.

Exhibitions are held across the city, including Colaba, Dadar and Vile Parle.

Diyas, gift potlis, greeting cards, wrapping paper, diaries, keychains, bookmarks, wrapping paper, jute bags, dusters, towels, kitchen napkins are among the goods made and sold.

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