As a social duty, rendering a helping hand to women and handicapped children, is the need of the hour. Chetna Association in Himachal Pradesh’s Bilaspur district initiated the efforts in this direction before 13 years and now it has become a ray of hope for such children and women who want to lead a life filled with self-respect.Dr Mallika Nadda is the founder secretary of this institution that was established in 1998. Providing treatment to the handicapped so as to make them self reliant; eradication of evil practices that are prevalent in the society regarding women such as dowry harassment, female foeticide, etc; effective participation in the movement of women empowerment were some of the key objectives in front of the institution at the time.For handicapped childrenFor handicapped children, Chetna has opened three special schools. Here, along with the education, efforts are also made for their rehabilitation. With a view that these children should get a chance to lead a completely normal life, opportunities are given so as to prove their mettle in the field of sports, arts, etc. The efforts are indeed yielding fruitful results. A number of mentally retarded children, who earlier never used to respond to any of the normal activities, are now showing a remarkable progress regarding studies and sports. Some of them are even participating in the production activities so as to serve as an asset for their families. SportsIn the field of sports also, these differently-abled children have shown their spark. Pawan Kumar was selected for Athens World Handball Tourney for Handicapped, 2011 and Sushil Kumar has been selected for athletics. In 2003, Geetadevi brought laurels in Ireland summer games; Vikram Kumar bagged gold medal in volleyball tourney held in Shanghai in the year 2007 whereas Rajendra Kumar won bronze medal in the Snow Boarding Winter Games held at USA in the year 2009. Apart from this, the children have also emerged victorious in a number of tournaments held at national and state level. Welfare of womenChetna also runs various types of projects for the welfare of women. Women empowerment is the issue that is dealt on priority under this programme. Women self-help groups have been established in many villages. Through these self-help groups, financial assistance is provided to the women for initiating cottage industries. Camps are organized for training women in the activities such as production of sepo badiya, making articles from pine leaves, etc so as to make them earn their own bread. Along with this, programmes are also organized for imparting education, creating awareness about eradication of dowry, female foeticide, etc. Environment protectionChetna’s sphere of work is not just limited to these activities but it is also involved in the campaigns such as sapling plantation, environment protection, drinking water conservation, etc. As per the slogan ‘Himalaya Surakshit, Desh Surakshit’ (Himalaya Protected, India Protected) Chetna is well associated with Himalaya Parivar that is striving hard for the liberation of Kailas Manasarovar and the freedom as well as autonomy of Tibet. ContactDr Mallika NaddaFounder secretary, Chetna Association#63, Roura Sector-IIBilaspur, District Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh)174001, IndiaMobile: +91 94180 00055Phone/Fax: 01978 221524Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgHow to reachBy air: Shimla, Bhuntar and Chandigarh are the nearest airports to Bilaspur. Tourists can take a cab from the airport and proceed by road.By train: The nearest broad gauge railway station is Kiratpur Sahib that lies 65 km away from Bilaspur. The broad gauge station of Shimla lies around 85 km away.By road: Bilaspur is located at a distance of 85 km from Shimla and 135 km away from Chandigarh. It is easily approachable by road.
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