The ground-breaking for the Latika Roy Foundation’s new campus took place on March 17 in Niranjanpur, Dehradun. Set for completion in 2025, our fully accessible premises will be a green, earthquake-safe, energy efficient construction with customized lighting, wide doorways and dedicated spaces for activities, therapy, counselling, movement arts, training, sensory integration and more.
Our new premises will be so much more than a brick and mortar structure, said Jo Chopra, our Founder and Executive Director. “As an organisation that’s lived and breathed inclusion and acceptance for close to three decades, our work needs a national platform and a national reach. People need to experience what we do. India needs to be inspired by the masterpiece of unity and conviction that is possible when dil, will and skill come together. It will demonstrate to India both the scale of the problem and the reality of the solution”.
The excitement was palpable as 250 children in hard hats, parents, staff, board members and supporters from across the city thronged the site.
Sneha Philip, psychologist at the Foundation and MC at the event called it a momentous occasion that many people had worked tirelessly to bring to fruition – our donors, board, staff, parents and wonderful children; our brilliant architects at Pradeep Sachdeva Design Associates; our project management partners Cushman & Wakefield; and Parag Techno, who’re constructing the building. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as children from each center, parents and staff spoke about what having a place to call our own at last meant to them.
“My wife is the founder of the Latika Roy Foundation and my daughter is its inspiration – I guess you could say I’m a bit biased. But I’m just one of many admirers. And it’s indisputable that LRF is now one of India’s premier institutions for disabled children and their families. We are very proud of what it does,” said Dr Ravi Chopra, who spoke on the occasion.
Yatendra Singh from Parag promised to carry the infectious josh and energy of the event into the construction. Gurmeet Verma, Project Leader, Cushman and Wakefield, recalled how his mother would exhort him and his siblings to be a lifelong team because that’s where miracles begin.
“It’s FINALLY HAPPENING!! Everyone is super excited that the work is going at such an excellent pace,” said Nikita Misra, Associate, Fundraising, who handwrote thank you cards to hundreds of individual contributors to our online #1000Dreams fundraiser.
“Pace! Pace it is! So emotional – a hundred people cried!” agreed Rashmi Barua, Director, Fundraising, whose tireless efforts spearhead our fundraising.