I received this appeal from noted journalist and columnist Dilip
D'Souza. If you do decide to contribute, please do let Dilip know at
@DeathEndsFun on twitter. Thank you.
January 3 2013
I'm part of a fundraising effort for an organization called Ummeed.
I'm doing this because I have a personal interest in this: our
daughter Surabhi (now nearly 9) is dyslexic and Ummeed has been a
great help to us in diagnosis, treatment and advice. While I'm
naturally anxious about how she will cope, Ummeed is the reason I'm
confident that she will.
And this is why I think Ummeed's work is important. And yet they reach
only a fraction of all the children in Bombay with developmental
disabilities: the need, as ever, outstrips the capacity to serve it.
And this is why I signed up to do this fundraiser for Ummeed.
Admittedly I'm no good at this. I've never done it before. I mean,
I've never run/walked/biked/cartwheeled for a cause before, I've never
asked for pledges/donations like this before, and I've never walked
55km on a beach in one day before. (About 45 km one day through the
forests of Madagascar, but that's a story for another day).
But I'm doing all that now. With some 20-25 others, I'm going to walk
up and down the 27km+ length of a Goa beach -- totalling about 55km --
on January 12 2013.
So it's this simple: I need your support to help me complete that
trek. I need your support to help Ummeed in its work. I'd be grateful
for pledges/donations in any amount at all. And if you contribute, I
promise to carry your name on a small label on my person. (I've
stocked up on pins).
I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks so much.
PS: Your contribution is tax-deductible. Please make your check out to
Ummeed Child Development Center and mail it to Ummeed, 1-B, 1/62,
Mantri Pride Building, N. M. Joshi Marg, Near Chinchpokli Station
(W), Lower Parel, Mumbai 400 011. And please let me know.
PS #2: This link allows online donations:
PS #3: Some details about Ummeed:
It was started by an old friend, Vibha Krishnamurthy, to work with
children with developmental disabilities (which is her
specialization). In the past year Ummeed has provided direct services
to over 1000 families of such children. Their goal has always been to
create best practices, and also work on advocacy, research, and
sharing their knowledge through training.
Some Ummeed highlights of the past year:
* They established a brand new social work team to serve low-income
families, including educating them about the rights of children with
developmental disabilities and taking patient advocacy to another
* They benefited thousands of children indirectly by training staff of
eight organizations to work with children with developmental
disabilities and their families through their Child Development Aide
(CDA) program and Mental Health training program.
* They also ran several shorter training programs for schools and NGOs
working with children at risk for disabilities.
However, there are still so many children and families with little or
no access to care. Ummeed remains committed to reaching out to them in