Agree or not, our lives have taken a new turn since the last week of March when the nationwide lockdown was announced to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. From the very first day, we all are trying to cope up with the new schedule. Besides, frequent hand wash, mandatory use of face mask and maintaining physical distance has become an integral part of our life.

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

Adapting to these sudden changes has been tough for our children and even more for the specially-abled children. But, there is always light in the darkness and angels who brings ray of hope in the darkest of time. One such great human is Kumud Kalita, lecturer at Pathsala college in Assam, who set up ‘Tapoban’ children home to shelter abandoned differently-abled children.

Since the announcement of the nationwide lockdown, Kalita has been doing his best to support the needy.

“Their day starts with the morning study, breakfast and after that they spend a few hours reading books or watching TV. Between 12 noon to 1 pm, we provide them lunch and they rest for some time,” said Kalita, giving details of the routine these children are following during the lockdown.

Presently 24 specially-abled abandoned children are taking shelter in Tapoban.

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In the evening, it is mandatory for every child to do yoga. “In this tough time it is very essential for us to look after our physical and mental well being. So I have mandated them at least 45 minutes of yoga every day. All the children do physical, breathing exercise and other necessary workouts following social distancing norms,” Kalita informed, adding, “Post yoga they do their evening study and then dinner.”

Besides providing value education, Kalita and his associates are imparting regular lessons on frequent hand wash, use of sanitizer and face mask.

“I and other care takers of the home are the role models of these children. We are doing our every bit to make them aware about this pandemic situation,” Kalita said.

“Further to divert their mind we have engaged students in various activities like book readings, painting, singing etc,” he added.

Kalita and his team are giving a special care towards nutrition to the children in this period. “Here at Tapoban, we have given prime attention towards nutrition of the children. Multi-vitamins and other items having sufficient amount of proteins and vitamins are served to them every day, so that they remain fit and fine,” he added.

“It is a tough situation for all of us and for them it is a bit more but with the passing time they are learning to cope up with the situation and I am sure they will learn more in the coming days,” Kalita said.

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For the first time, two children of Tapoban have appeared for HSLC exam. The home has a child of 5 months who was rescued on December 21, 2019 and after subsequent medical tests, Barpeta Medical College authority handed over the child to Kalita. Till date Tapoban has rescued more than 60 children and out of them, 9 were adopted.

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About Sayantani Deb


The writer is a media professional based in Guwahati


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