Almost one billion people in our world live with disabilities. Many of them and their families are trapped in a unending cycle of poverty, pain and despair. The problem is particularly onerous in rural North India where poverty, the prevailing belief system, ignorance and inadequate services take a heavy toll on people with disabilities, particularly children. They are often hidden away. They are some of the “the least of these” that Jesus talked about. EHA has a commitment to the marginalized in society. Through community health and development projects, EHA reaches out to people with physical and mental disabilities in villages in North India. Two such projects are fully supported by EHA Canada. One is a Learning Centre run by the Anugrah project of the Herbertpur Christian Hospital and the other is the Community Based Rehab project out of the Duncan Hospital in Raxaul.
Imagine you are living in a poor isolated village in North India with a disabled child. You leave to work the fields in the morning leaving the child in a dark, windowless, smoky hut. The few rupees you earn will buy food for one meal for the whole family. Your child, lying immobilized on the floor, is tormented by the happy sounds of children playing outside. You and your family feel isolated, believing that your child is being punished for her sins in a past existence. This is her fate. This daily grind continues – without hope, without respite.
One day a team of health workers from a nearby hospital comes to your village. They gather the village folk and tell them that they can help people with disabilities. They speak of a God that made them in His image and loves each girl and boy unconditionally. And then the team gets to work – first doing a survey of people with disabilities. Then they conduct an outpatient clinic to treat common ailments and refer those with serious illnesses to the mission hospital nearby. They bring equipment. Your child sits up for the first time in her life! She beams from ear to ear. The workers provide wheelchairs, walkers and other devices. They draw in the whole community, teaching them how to care for their neighbors with special needs. They open a Centre – a safe place where the children receive therapy. Your child learns to read and write following a biblical curriculum, sings songs and plays games. One day she will be ready to join the local school with other children. The workers have a special program teaching school children how to care for disabled kids and so “mainstreaming” children with disabilities. As she grows, she is taught basic skills through a prevocational training program. When, finally, she is of age, she can get a job and earn a living. Hope, rooted in the love and spirit of Jesus, brings light and freedom to those held captive by their “fate”. “Those who sat in darkness have seen a great light.”
Your generous gifts have helped us fund these projects for several years. Support Anugrah’s Learning Centres in 2019.