Workers on top of a building under construction

A bunch of us celebrated World Disability Day this year by visiting our construction site. We didn’t exactly get our hands dirty, but standing there on a piece of land that seemed to stretch for acres, with a view of the Himalayas in the distance, walls going up before our eyes and decisions being taken with rapid-fire and immediate effect (these folks have a DEADLINE – they are working FAST) was almost painfully exciting.

Group of visitors at building site in a circle discussing details; all are wearing hardhats and reflective vests.

Building at the lintel level - workers on the completed first storySo many dreams and hopes have come together in this project. It’s difficult to believe it is actually taking shape. When we started Latika 30 years ago, we talked in lofty terms about our vision for the future but I don’t think any of us really believed it would happen. The problems were so enormous and we were so young and small and inexperienced. We wanted it to be true, but we knew in our hearts that it was unlikely.

Young mother, smiling at twin infants on an examining tableBut just as we asked our disabled children to take things one tiny step at a time, just as we counseled their parents not to expect overnight miracles, we did the same. We took our own advice. We kept our heads down and went on putting one foot in front of the other.

We worked on the moments and the years took care of themselves. Miracle has followed miracle and wonders have never ceased.

And now, here we are, building a state-of-the-art campus for disabled children and young adults, proving that the most vulnerable among us are every bit as important and precious as anyone else.

But let’s not get carried away. Before the site visit, our incredible donors/technical advisers from Cushman & Wakefield, the company that is making all of this possible, came to our office so we could brief them on our work and our dreams for the campus. We have no conference room, no fancy tech systems, no microphones at a roundtable – gosh, we could barely fit everyone into the space we did have.

Meeting going on in a crowded office room; participants are sitting in an oval space between two rows of desks, looking toward a large screen at one end of the room

All squished together (one perched on a desk), it was a good way to stay humble, to remember how we started and to remind ourselves that that big or small, it’s still head down, one foot in front of the other. We are learning all the time, we are so grateful we could sing, we are amazed that we are here, that this is happening, that the people we have worked with for 30 years are finally going to have a centre designed for them and that we are the ones who get to open the door for them.

Mother smiling at her smiling baby, carried in a front pack

Showing 4 comments
  • Nisha Printer

    I commend each one of you for your dedication and commitment in this journey. May you all be blessed and I am rooting for Lathika to open its doors to the people who most matter in their lives.

    • Jo

      Thank you so much, Nisha! It’s coming true before our eyes and we are so excited to have friends like you supporting us and cheering us on.

  • Jyotsna Brar

    What an exciting venture going up before your eyes. God bless those working on it, God bless the enablers, the ideators and the supporters. Most of all, God bless those who will use it.

    • Jo

      Thanks a lot, Jyotsna. You are right in the thick of it with us . . . I would love to walk you through it, show you the drawings and get your ideas for when we’re actually in it!

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