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Tata Mumbai Marathon 2024
The Jai Vakeel Foundation is a 78-year-old organization that has been helping children who are Intellectually & Developmentally Disabled (IDD), and a large number of these children come from lower socio-economic strata and are provided with help and assistance to raise a child with special needs. This NGO is one that I support as this cause is very close to my heart and I constantly feel empathy for these children and want to do my best to help them. I spent a part of my summer vacation this year volunteering at this very foundation as an assistant to a class and learned a lot more about how the school functions. I understood more about the lives of the students inside and outside of school, which made me understand how the foundation has been life-changing. The Jai Vakeel Foundation uses many personalised and nuanced techniques to help each child overcome their unique difficulties. Some of the methods incorporated are a "Comprehensive Multi-Sensory Curriculum" which teaches many life skills as well as traditional school subjects like languages, mathematics, yoga and music; a "Community Integration Program" which involves the children going to places like malls and museums to learn how to interact on a day to day basis with unfamiliar faces; and "Animal Assisted (Dog) Therapy" which helps improve their social and communication skills. This foundation is imperative for the betterment of children with IDD and helps integrate them into daily life as they transition from children to adults.
I am Avinash Balakrishnan, a grade 10 student at the Dhirubhai Ambani International School. I am running the 10 Kilometer run at the Tata Mumbai Marathon on 21st January 2024 on behalf of the Jai Vakeel Foundation. I have been passionate about their cause for a long time now and have spent time volunteering with them to get to know their foundation better. My target is to raise 2 lakh rupees to donate to the said foundation, which will be used to help provide better education and healthcare to children who have IDD. I am a passionate individual who swims, runs, and can play the tabla, and this foundation is instrumental towards giving a such similar opportunity to children who have IDD, especially those from underprivileged economic backgrounds.
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