By JUHIE SABOO SINGH
Our friendship with Shishu Sarothi, a Guwahati-based ngo working for rehabilitation & training of persons with multiple disabilities began, almost simultaneously, whilst we were setting up Terra Mayaa, a Resto-lounge. How? Well, we had always heard about the good things they do in their arena of work and had some very close associates and family of ours give us insights into their ongoing battle for an “equal world”.
And then we met Arman Ali – word about the new “CEO” and his dynamism, sometimes bordering on arrogance, had preceded our chance meeting! It’s never been looking back, thereafter. We often badgered Arman with what we could do in our organizational capacity to support their cause.
And he would most often than not tell us – we will tell you. One of our first projects together was – designing of placemats for our restaurant. We continue to use them to date and it does its bit towards Shishu Sarothi’s stupendous work ‘a recall in our patrons’ minds.
After a long hiatus, Arman rather hesitantly asked us – are you still on to do something with us? And we thought — neki aur puch puch?!! It turned out to be a small gesture, albeit – hosting some of their students over lunch at our restaurant.
We grabbed the opportunity and hosted some of the most happy guests in Terra Mayaa’s history!! It was a like a ray of sunshine and a radiant affair, alright! Ecstatic on their outing, gushing at the sight of pizzas and more, the kids only left us wondering – how can we do more?!
We cringed at the thought of the very basic issue that a lot of them face in terms of physical infrastructure – ramps, plane levels are still a far cry in most of our modern structures, let alone the older, existing ones.
The thought that if there are so many who are being reached by Shishu Sarothi, there would be so many more who would hide in the shadows of social stigma and ignorance!
These questions will continue to linger until we are able to gift our coming generations a more open, educated and sensitive ethos. For that happy noon of 13th Feb, we found ourselves saying – happy valentine’s eve, new friends.
As you get ecstatic with those little cake pops, we say to you – Happiness, let’s see more of each other.
Juhie Saboo Singh is an entrepreneur who has fumbled her way into the F&B and hospitality space.