"We Redefined Disablity"
Inclusion Retreat was one of its first kind organized by Service space in Ahmedabad. It was a chilled morning when I landed at Ahmedabad Airport where my friend and volunteer of Service Space Madhur was waiting along with Devasish Bhai. The journey of hugs and act of kindness began from here. We entered ESI, in Sugadh and I was moved by its scenic beauty. At breakfast table I met Nipun-bhai and all other guests and volunteers. Here I met Varsha who is an aspiring scientist. We became friends and went out to explore the campus with Madhur. They both helped me see each part of campus, they read the quotes written all over the walls, rooms, garden etc. As I had reached a day before the retreat, I managed to visit Sabarmati Ashram, Akshardham Temple and Adalaj step well with Varsha and George in Uday Bhai’s rickshaw. We experienced a new act of kindness with Uday Bhai. He shared his experience of a pay-it-forward rickshaw and touched our hearts.
The retreat began and I was amazed to see different people with some extra ordinary talent and thought processes within them. Every activity and circle discussion left me with a new thought and different ways of being generous. In this 2-3 day retreat I experienced abundant love, happiness, oneness and generosity. Some special moments which touched me were:
In the blind fold activity, leading the crowd and holding Nipun-bhai's hand and guiding him and also making him realise different techniques one can use when there is no vision. Sridhar clicking selfies with me while blindfolded without changing camera to the front view was funny.
Drawing a tree with the help of Varsha. Motivating Kiran to draw her own tree and write herself while seeking minimum help from Madhur.
Cooking Sambar with Sridhar and Karan was an amazing experience. Karan who was shy and had not interacted with me much was so excited and was fully supportive.
Driving Ramesh Bhai’s Scooty with Neha was another experience which I would cherish for my life. Jaideep and Kameshwar made it more memorable with their humour and funny comments and video shoot.
Visiting Swach Vidyalay and Toilet café was a completely new experience for me. I learnt different ways of sanitation and its importance. Coffee had never tasted so tasty before, as it tasted in Toilet café.
Dancing in Seva Café with all guests was fun. Jayanthi kaka’s dance and the solutions we found to communicate with each other in group dance was beautiful. I loved to dance with Akhil and trying to communicate with him in sign language was interesting.
During nights, the girls gathering and spending whole night talking and laughing out loud was something I loved a lot. Anju-ben joining us in our conversation made it more hilarious and interesting.
Nipun bhai testing my recognition skill with his voice and touch whenever we crossed each other.
Madhur and I returned together. The time spent with her in flight and conversation brought us closer and made our friendship stronger than ever before.
I had good time listening to Ashwin, Nirav, Kiran and Bhawna-ben’s experiences and true life stories. These were the people who inspired me a lot.
If we look into each one’s experience and moments spent at retreat, I can only say “We redefined the notion of disability”.
As Jayesh Bhai said, “It is not disability but dil-ability”. Truly, we all demonstrated only our dil-ability and will continue to do so.