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International Women’s Day 2014: Celebrating Womanhood at Nirmal Chhaya

In honour of Women’s Day 2014, a colourful assortment of activities was scheduled over a period of three days to celebrate womanhood as an essence of identity for the residents of Nirmal Chhaya.

5th March, 2014: The Art of Living at Nari Niketan

To begin the celebrations, cultural activities such as rangoli-making and mehndi competition were organized at Nari Niketan. To bring out the sense of belongingness to a particular home, residents from different homes formed teams and were encouraged to participate in the spirit of friendly competition. Residents from the Short-Stay Home, Nari Niketan and the After-Care Home participated individually as well as in groups in the rangoli making and mehendi competition. Differently abled residents and residents with psychiatric conditions were also involved in the rangoli making competition and thoroughly enjoyed representing each home. More involvement of the residents was encouraged and all the residents enthusiastically enjoyed their participation. Each woman brought out her own creativity in making beautiful patterns in rangoli colours as well as with mehendi.

In the second half of the day, a satsang in collaboration with the Art Of Living was organised. The residents from Nari-Niketan were engaged in the decorations and other preparations for the satsang. Through music and the chanting of bhajans, the women immersed themselves in the experience of a sacred connection with the almighty. The facilitators attempted to engage their attention with the music and helped break their symptoms of social withdrawal through bringing out a sense of connectedness amongst the group. They sang, they danced, and participated in the celebrations joyfully.

Residents from the other two homes (Short Stay Home and After-Care Home) participated along with the women from Nari Niketan in the satsang. The spirit of active participation led many of them to come forward and volunteer to sing the bhajans and represent their homes. The officials and members of staff at he Nirmal chhaya complex also joined in the celebrations and helped enhance the interpersonal interactions between the residents during the satsang.

The Art of Living satsang also highlighted the importance of hygiene and its role in physical as well as psychological well-being. Through music, collective participation, relaxation and meditation, the satsang was instrumental in experientially demonstrating to the women at Nirmal Chhaya a holistic sense of wellness and health.


6th March 2014: Sports Meet at the Short Stay Home:

 Second Day of the Women’s Day celebration was marked by a sports event at short stay home. Residents from Nari Niketan and after care home participated in the events. It consisted of track events and relay races. A special race of 200m was organized for the residents with hearing and speech impairment. Various forms of competitive runs such as relay races, sack races, balloon races, lemon races etc. were organized. Two participants from each home were registered for each race. Residents with compromised intellectual functioning or with psychiatric conditions were encouraged to participate from each home and compete at the same level. A very visible sense of motivation and enthusiasm was observed from the participants. Non-participating residents from each home stood as cheer leaders for the women athletes during the sports meet, enhancing the spirit of belongingness and celebration. Self-perceptions related to achievement and performance were aimed to be brought out and were observed to unfold within the participants through the manner in which they engaged in the various activities.

In the second half of the day, the track events were followed by various one-minute activities like saree-draping, make-up application, potato peeling, drawing and musical chairs. This was done in order to inculcate a sense of enjoyment within daily activities whose acknowledgement is often neglected in the life of a woman.

The residents of Nirmal Chhaya thoroughly enjoyed the plethora of diverse events that were organized in honour of International Womens’ Day 2014. Their involvement with the activities and with each other during the three days of celebration were heartening, and extremely rewarding for all of us at Manas.

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