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It’s great that more epilepsy support groups are forming in our country!   Samman in Mumbai,  Sanvedana in Pune, Uttejan in Thane and Samvaad in Nagpur.  On the 13th of June IEA Vidarbha chapter held a vocational guidance seminar.  Dr. Poornima Karandikar sent me the following details:

“It’s the season of results. First it was HSC and then SSC. We see photos and boards of congratulations all around us. But what about those who did not make it to the tenth because of their medical conditions? What about the children with epilepsy, who had to drop out of school because of various reasons?

When epilepsy starts during childhood or adolescence, with proper and timely treatment, the child grows normally and has a life like any other child, with the same challenges and pleasures. However, in some cases, due to various reasons, it may take a longer time to control the seizures. Children might be discouraged from attending schools by non-supportive teachers or over protective parents.  Parents start despairing about their child’s future. The child looses confidence. Parents start thinking of the child as a liability. Due to lack of scholastic accomplishments, the professional options for these children become limited.

Samvaad ( a self help group for people with epilepsy) and IEA, Vidarbha Chapter (Indian Epilepsy Association) had organized an ‘occupational guidance seminar’ or ‘vyavasaay maargadarshan shibir’ for people with epilepsy on Sunday, 13th June 2010 at CIIMS. Dr. Vilas Dangre was present as chief guest, while Dr. G.M.Taori was the chairperson. Dr. Nitin Chandak (President IEA, Vidarbha Chapter), Mr. Ravindra Gandhe (founder member, Samvaad) and Dr. Poornima Karandikar (Vice-President, IEA, Vidarbha Chapter,founder member, Samvaad) were also present. Experts and entrepreneurs from various fields were present to express the available options in their fields in the form of jobs, services and small businesses. All the talks were focused on options for low scholastic performers. Mrs. B. Ramani (handicraft business-woman) spoke on the vast scope and government facilities in handicraft industry, Mr. Narendra Jog (Catering enterpreneur) on the extensive options available in the food and catering industry, Mr. Prashant Bhandari (Engineer and Insurance Surveyor) on options in automobile industry, Dr. Deepak Dongre (Medical Officer, OCHRI) on courses and options in health related industry, Mrs. Swati Gabhane (Beautician and instructor) on the beauty-parlour industry, Mr. Shrikant Kandge (Entrepreneur and Secretary, Printers Guild) on options in printing industry, Mr. Mukund Paithankar (Computer engineer) on role of computers in various small jobs and how they can be used to create awareness and Mr. Pramod Waratkar (farmer and founder member, Samvaad)on farming as a healthy option for epileptic people. Lastly, Mr Nitin Bajait from Bank of Maharashtra spoke on the availability of small loans from banks for budding entrepreneurs. A small exhibition of handicraft was also arranged at the venue. A booklet, ‘Vyavasaay Margadarshika’ was also released. This contains basic details of several jobs and small businesses which any person who is literate can attempt.

The program was attended by around 100 people. It was very well appreciated. This program is the first step in the process of occupational guidance for epileptics by ‘Samvaad’ . Those who are in need of guidance in this aspect can attend the monthly meeting of ‘Samvaad’ on the first Saturday of any month, at the residence of Mr. Ravindra Gandhe at 5: 30 pm, at ‘Yashashree, 15, North Ambazari Road, Shivajinagar, Nagpur 411010. Volunteers will always be available for evaluation and guidance. For further information, please contact: Mrs Nandini Bal (0 90286 95109)”

Samman Association, the Mumbai Chapter of Indian Epilepsy Association, is dedicated to empowering people with epilepsy and their caregivers.







Samman Association c/o Adapt India, 1st floor KC Marg, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400050.