Muskaan, which literally translates into a smile is actually engaged in doing just that…an NGO that works with children afflicted by intellectual disability and looks after their special needs. What fascinates me is the exceptional role of the special teachers at Muskaan, who work for bringing the smiles back on the faces of these numerous children with different abilities by imparting them the confidence to handle themselves and also to enable their families to understand and interact with them in a better fashion. I have been associated with this brilliantNGO and trust me, the smiles lighting up each kid’s face is pure, golden sunshine.
The teachers here make sure that these special kids become self-sufficient particularly with their day-to-day activities. Having interacted with these wonderful teachers who volunteer their time and services at Muskaan, I have an immense sense of respect and admiration for them. Their constant smiles, patient voices, gentle touch and helping hands are always found working around these kids with special needs and plugging the vacuum that exists in their lives.
One of them stated that, “Working with them has taught us significant human values like, unconditional love, living in the present, faith, innocence, and freedom from egoism.” This humility and goodness that they exude from within is hard to come by and we, grappling with the problems of our cluttered lives cannot even begin to imagine the sense of achievement and pride that these teachers must be experiencing upon finding their protégés go out and fend for themselves in the real world. They hold the hand of each one of these children and through sense of unwavering commitment, sheer grit and hard work, not just add joy and muskaan to their lives but also improve the very warp and weft of this society that we belong to.
Today, as a team leader in my corporate capacity and if I may humbly add, as a role model to my team members, I understand the value addition that a good teacher offers by his or her contribution in shaping each one of us into what we are today. Shepherding his or her flock to the grazing field with due diligence and a vigilant approach to their every need, as tiny as it may appear becomes a part and parcel of a teacher’s role. I marvel at their patience and perseverance who start afresh with every new batch of students walking in and then smile at seeing them hone into fine adults and walk away.
These amazingmen and women, who have taken upon themselves the onus of these special lot of children are colouring and brightening their lives through their intervention and education and are like the quintessential background music playing in the backdrop of a lovely environment that they have created at all the Muskaancentres. These teachers certainly do not need one day in a year to be venerated…and all I wish to say is that “Thank you for the music, dear teacher!
Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me…”
I love all my teachers and these gifted teachers of Muskaan are truly my inspiration…they are indeed the music in my life…and truly live up to the Muskaan ideology based on a quote by Phylilis Diller, who says, “Smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”