Sunil
Chandan was also identified in the survey conducted by the Home Intervention workers in 1987. He was 12 years old then. He was a moderate MR with speech deficit. He had attended normal school but was unable to cope with the academic aspects. The economic status of his family was not too bad  as besides his old parents he had two older brothers who were earning.  The family lived in their own home. They had a small shop in the one of the front rooms of their house. Since Chandan was withdrawn from school the family persuaded Chandan to sit in the shop and learn something. Somehow this did not interest Chandan. As a result of this, when the survey worker contacted Chandan’s family everybody in his family was worried about his future.

However, Chandan was admitted to the Vocational unit when he joined SAMADHAN in 1987. The assessment showed that he could read and write simple words and phrases and could count up to 100. He knew his functional mathematics, i.e., perform simple mathematical operations, could do his money combinations and tell the time etc.  

While he was in the Vocational Unit he learnt the craft of papier mache and wood work. However his major interest was drawing and painting and he did these pretty well. Besides, he also won several medals for the drawing and painting competitions held in different organisations. Most of the greeting cards painted by him have also been printed. One of the greeting cards painted by him was selected by the British Airways for print to be used for south Asia’s Christmas cards. He participated in other events as well such as the Special Olympic. He had also participated in a cultural function at a workshop organised by the National Institute for Mentally Handicapped (NIMH) at Secunderabad, South India.  

Since Chandan was quite shy by nature he did not mix up freely with his colleagues. But during the counselling sessions with his teachers he expressed the desire to work and earn money. With the passage of time his family situation had also changed. His eldest brother  who was married passed away suddenly. Since his other brother was of marriable age and the sister-in-law was quite young and had nowhere to go, his parents got the two of them married. This had a negative impact on Chandan. He just could not stand his sister-in-law thinking that it was because of her that his eldest brother died and because of her only the other brother also would die one day. He was not on talking terms to his sister-in-law. For a short time he stopped coming to the Centre and tried to work and earn money. Somehow he was not successful in doing so due to negative attitude of his employers.  
      
With occasional visits made by SAMADHAN team to Chandan’s family helped improve the situation. The team counselled Chandan’s family and asked for support. With the effort from his family and SAMADHAN staff  Chandan was able to find a job of his choice.  In 1997 Chandan found a job with the help of a young member of the community  as a ball boy in the Tennis Academy. But initial few months were very difficult for him because after the novelty of the new environment more often he realised that it was difficult work which he could not escape by the often repeated excuse of “I do not want to or I do not like it”. But with the cooperation of the employer and recognised work by the Vocational teachers in liaison with the parents paid off and now Chandan has been with them for over six months. On Mondays which used to be his off days he used to come to the Centre to meet his friends, teachers and do some painting. Since his off day has shifted from Monday to Sunday he is not able to come to the Centre but on Sundays he does visit his friends in their homes.