Thursday, January 21, 2021

Striving to serve

Reading Time: 4 minutesThe official Samarpan launch outlines a raft of services for PWDs and their families and carers

Samarpan’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘giving yourself completely’. As such, it is an apt title for an organisation dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with disability, of Indian and South Asian origin in NSW.
Samarpan Inc was launched as an organisation in late June. Secretary Rajni Chandran told Indian Link nearly 200 people gathered at Epping Community Centre for the official ceremony.
Amongst the invitees were politicians, cultural organisations, high profile members of society, service providers, members and their families. The attendees were treated to audio-video presentations describing the services, goals and aspirations of Samarpan. There were talks by health care professionals on issues of intellectual disability, the importance of support networks for persons with disability, and multicultural community support. Impressive performances and presentations by persons with disability won everyone’s heart. Sidharth, Rajni’s 25-year-old son with autism prepared a presentation based on a poem he composed. Also featured were shots of his swimming accomplishments and camp trip. Another commendable presentation was that of Raishav on netball, along with songs by Preshant and Arun.
There are 3000 persons with severe disability from South Asian backgrounds in Sydney alone, requiring ongoing care. Rajni pointed out that informally the organisation has been operating for many years. It was started by two mothers in Sydney in 2002, as a support group for families of children with disability. By 2008, a small group had formed, and in June 2012 Samarpan was registered as an association. The year that followed allowed board members to work out the roles and goals of the organisation to best address the needs of South Asian families with People With Disabilities (PWD), before officially launching this year.
The aim of Samarpan is to provide opportunities for people with disability of South Asian origin to socialize and form long-term relationships amongst themselves. Samarpan especially aims to help children facing developmental disability that starts at an early age, and continues through life. The organisation is trying to build a support network for families of such children and to develop culturally appropriate services to suit their needs.
One of the most important services planned by Samarpan is the development of an accommodation model that will meet the long-term care needs of the disabled adult child of a Samarpan family. The project has been named ‘Aashray’.
Further explaining the project, Rajni said, “The accommodation that we envisage will cater to the needs of individuals who need round the clock care or supervision, who have an established relationship, and who are of South Asian background. Ashray as a project is in its budding stage. We are looking at setting up a blueprint for the type of accommodation we think will meet the needs of our clients. The blueprint will then be presented to various agencies and individuals to enlist their support. We hope to soon provide people with disability of South Asian culture a purpose-built, safe and permanent place to live with their families, maintain links with the community, stay connected with their culture, and have employment, leisure and other opportunities”.
Samarpan also runs ‘Aadhaar’, a support group for families which meets once a month for organised activities like bowling and picnics. The idea is to let families enjoy time together with their child with disability, in order to strengthen family ties. Aadhaar celebrates carers week every year, with the next meet on July 28 at AMF Bowling in Castle Hill, and anyone of South Asian background with a PWD is welcome to attend.
‘Mitralay’, another Samarpan initiative is a social club for people with disability which meets once a month. Field games, excursions and other activities are organised to help members socialise. Mitralay is supported by the Hornsby Council.
Samarpan’s advocacy program ‘Aagrah’ endeavours to represent its members in community forums, submissions to government and providing information on disability funding, services and benefits available.
At the same time, ‘Udyog’ is the program run by Samarpan to help people with disability find meaningful work to raise their self-esteem and help them contribute to society in a positive manner.
Samarpan Inc is an independent organisation which relies on various funding sources to run its programs.
“We hope private donors, government funding and community philanthropists will help make our goals a reality, and judging by the response to the inaugural ceremony, there is tremendous goodwill in the South Asian community,” Rajni said optimistically.
Samarpan is planning an information session on diet and nutrition for mothers and carers of PWD towards the end of the year. The meeting will include information and help on modifying common South Asian recipes to make them wholesome for people with disability. The date of the session is yet to be decided, but next on Samarpan’s calendar is an information session on the National Disability Insurance Scheme/ Disability Care on August 31 in North Parramatta. Barbel Winter, Executive Director of Futures Upfront will help South Asian families of persons with disability have a better understanding of the new NDIS which is now called Disability Care Australia.
Rajni Chandran can be contacted on 0432 798 938 or call Caroline on 0402 596 813 for registration of attendance.

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s life

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Ep 6: The Indian LGBTQ+ community in 2020

  It’s been two years since the world’s largest democracy repealed the draconian Section 377 which used to allow discrimination against homosexual people. Only this...

Latest News

Memes to celebrate India’s Test series win

  You've watched the legendary match, now peep these hilarious memes. From Pant to Pujara, SCG to the Gabba, and England to Australia, netizens went...
washington sundar

After dramatic entry into Test cricket, Sundar steals the show

  How quickly fortune changes is evident in the dramatic manner in which Washington Sundar, originally selected only for the T20 series in Australia, was...

WATCH: Day 5 of the Gabba Test in 8 minutes

  Even those only remotely interested in cricket tuned in, and stayed glued to their screens yesterday. Has Test cricket ever been this interesting? From wickets...

Reliving the Gabba Test

  Chasing down a total of 328 at The Gabba, Australia's fortress for the last 33 years, the Indian team defied all odds to win...

A poetic tribute to Team India

  Since invincible Team India played an utterly exhausting four-Test series with the deciding Test at a venue at which Australia had not lost in...