Twelve mentally challenged girls and women living at a care home in Maharashtra’s Osmanabad district have learnt the art of making beautiful Lord Ganesh idols which they intend to sell in the market for the upcoming Ganpati festival.
This will definitely help improve their quality of life, an official from the zilla parishad said lauding the initiative taken by the ‘Swadhar’ care home, located in Alni village.
Currently, the care centre has 110 girls and women, majority of whom were brought in an ailing state and most of them were bed-ridden, the care home’s head Shahaji Chavan told PTI.
“They are orphans brought here from big cities like Pune and Mumbai. They are autistic and mentally challenged. They can’t express their condition and 30 of them cannot even assess their urge to go to toilet,” he said.
But with time, they have started studying and 60 of them are now literate, he said.
“While trying to find out their area of interest and talent, we decided to engage them in different activities. We found 12 of them were good at moulding clay and mud and they started making the idols of Lord Ganesh,” Chavan said.
Working with mud, making body parts of an idol and attaching them properly are not easy tasks. But, these inmates are learning and they have now also started painting the idols on their own, he said.
Two persons from the care centre work with the inmates and make them learn the art of making idols, he said.
“We try to make around 400 idols every year, but only half of them reach the market,” Chavan said.
Bharat Kamble, who heads differently-abled wing of the Osmanabad zilla parishad’s social justice department, said the care home inmates have no relatives.
“Their idols are as beautiful as made by professional artists,” he said.
The care home is not only making these inmates learn art, but also helping them with different therapies to make them stand on their feet, he said.
“This will surely help improve their quality of life,” he added.