The IB (International Baccalareaute) students of Podar International School, Santacruz under their CAS programme (Creativity, Action and Service) are in absolute partnership with Indian Development Foundation (IDF) for their social service activities.
CAS Co-ordinator Mrs. Sarala Gavane led a batch of 41 students to Vimala Dermatological Centre, a leprosy/ TB project of IDF in North Mumbai in the early hours of Saturday (June 27). The IB Diploma Programme students have to undergo about 150 hours of social work in a year as per their curriculum and it is our privilege to have continued patronage of IDF for CAS programme. The students were curious to know about leprosy and it was a new experience for them to visit a leprosy home for the first time, Mrs. Sarala Gavane added.
Dr. Narayan B. Iyer, National Co-ordinator of IDF inaugurated the programme by giving brief details of the workings of the Foundation followed by a scientific presentation on leprosy. A film on leprosy helped the students to clear their doubts on the disease. Leprosy is not hereditary, as a child borne to a leprosy patient may not have leprosy at the time of birth, Dr. Iyer said. To a query raised by one of the student whether leprosy is contagious, Dr. Iyer clarified by citing the example of the dedicated sisters and doctors treating the patients and a host of NGOs working for leprosy patients who are free from the disease. Dr. Iyer said leprosy is completely curable and treatment is given free of cost across the country. He also said that India has achieved leprosy elimination status and NGOs are now working on rehabilitation of patients.
The students made two groups and went round the male, female and children wards of Vimala Centre and they also had an insight of the out-patient-department where scores of people visit regularly and get treated. The students felt happy as they went around each ward interacting freely with the patients and greeted them with a smile.
"We could see the glimpse of happiness on the faces of each patient as we enquired about their well-being", Podar students, Ahmed, Sourabh and Harmit Singh, expressed. "It is a day of fulfillment for all of us and we feel proud to be a part of IDF. Through CAS programmes we will do our best to bring smile among the underprivileged" said Zeba, Anishka and Riddhi.
Dr. Sharad Nayampally and Mr. Sanjay S. Waghmare from IDF made arrangements for the programme.