SR. EILEEN GAITONDE
(29th June 1940 – 26th November 2019)
On 26th November 2019, Sister Eileen Gaitonde, ex-principal of SPJ Sadhana School returned to her heavenly abode, leaving us students and staff with heavy hearts. Sister Gaitonde’s life was one of dedicated service to the cause of children with special educational needs, an ideal which endured all her life. She was an inspirational and compassionate principal, who gave freely of herself to whoever sought her help. She was an exceptional mentor, motivator, quiet leader and the force behind the school, who led it from small beginnings to a place in the sun.
We, the staff and students are bereft of our gentle teacher, whose mischievous smile and twinkling eyes took us through good and difficult times alike. We will hold you in our hearts dearest Sister but will miss you each day.
EVOLVING – INTERNSHIPS:
First steps, perambulations and confidant strides are now in the part. The doors have been flung open, as the students of SPJ Sadhana move out into work-based experiences. Internship has always dangled as the will-it/won’t–it happening, hazy in the mind’s eye of the beholder, but acquiring new dimensions with each succeeding year.
Come as it may, the work-based experience is a welcome advent, our ‘almost validation’ for parent, student and mentor, with an almost audible sigh of relief when the going gets good. Why? You may ask? Years of mentoring, learning, toil, accommodation and expectation are serious stakes and the game changer – Internship.
Parent and teacher and at the times student contend with different approaches; a dismissive shake of hand for the vulgarly curious, a measured affirmation for the politically correct or a barely contained eulogy for the well-wisher, for, the much prized invitation to a work based experience is the bridge to safety, security and a bright fulfilling future.
The Staff of SPJ Sadhana School have made it their personal mission to source internships for the graduating students. Though one can never guarantee the outcome, a whole gamut of hope, effort and training is funnelled into this one gambit, to secure the best possible investment to fit the students to the role and SPJ Sadhana’s success story rates high.
Long ago, when the school was barely a thought in the minds of its founders, the motivation had always been to secure an independent and socially fulfilling life for those young ones with different strengths. The one constant was to create job opportunities and hence the school mission to provide integrated educational therapeutic and vocational development to children and young adults with intellectual disabilities.
It is the firm belief of every member of the Sadhana team that participation in quality work-based learning can help students transition from the school setting to work environs. Such experiences provide opportunities to strengthen occupational competencies and develop a network of contacts and practical skills that lead to securing and retaining a job.
Students gain valuable work experience while exploring their chosen career path and develop confidence and worth in themselves, a reason to believe that “You are more than You Think.”
As senior students graduate this year, the role-call reads of eminent commercial associations in the fields of finance – Deloitte India, SBI Life and TFS Pvt Ltd and in Hospitality i.e. Courtyard Marriot, Taj Lands’ End, Irish House, Shalimar Hotel and Copper Chimney. The students also intern at multi-skill based workshops like OM Creations Trust, Shraddha Charitable Trust, Kshitij and The Anchorage.
Internship at SPJ Sadhana took a turn this year as the students engaged in an “in-house” experience and the entire school participated in developing a single commodity – Flower Rangolis. Initially, the Work World Skills acquired an order for a couple hundred Flower Rangolis for Diwali, which built to beyond a thousand. The classrooms teemed in happy chaos as students and staff of all departments lent a hand. However, underlining the innocuous clamour were processes firmly in place, to navigate the students through the intricacies of production and delivery. Behaviour, stress, some well-timed, well-deserved entertainment and a large doze of responsibility placed the students at another level of understanding and performance fulfilling the very essence of internships.
CEREMONIES AND CELEBRATION:
On 18th November 2019, the students and staff celebrated Diwali with the PTA, who hosted the Diwali Party at Senate Banquet Hall, Status. The party was a riot of music, dancing and activities which the students enjoyed excessively, followed by a delicious repast and exciting gifts.
14th to 17th October 2019, the school held Open Days for the parents to discuss the progress of students in the preceding term. Parent participation was extensive and many insights were gained by both parents and staff on the difficulties experienced by them as well as students. The parents also interacted with the therapists who acquainted them with therapies conducted in school and, where necessary, also suggested a small programme to be conducted at home or therapeutic intervention at appropriate outsourced centres.
12th October 2019, PROJECT KALI Fashion Show - the students of the Visual Arts & crafts department walked the ramp for eminent designer Pallavi Goyal in the Times Fashion Week at S.T. Regis – Four Seasons. The designer sequence “Project Kali” was a feather in the student’s caps as they had executed the art work for Ms. Goyal’s Indo-Western couture. As the show followed on the heels of the school’s fashion extravaganza “Varnam”, the students confidently, independently and flawlessly created art in various mediums in bold primary hues with flashes of violet, the colour vibration of divinity. They spent hour on hour creating exquisite replicas of the Goddess in fine detail to embellish Ms. Goyal’s designs. Bravo Visual Arts & Crafts Department! and a round of applause and appreciation for the brilliant concepts of the Head of the Department Ms. Avadhut Magar and the planning and endeavour of the teachers Ms. Hiteshi Satra and Ms. Amruta Lagad.
On 5th November 2019, the Principal Ms. Fionika Sanghvi and Coordinator Ms. Simida Correia along with Ms. Vanessa Naronha and Ms. Tanvi Patel attended the Valedictory function of Play Pals, 2019 batch. Vanessa and Tanvi who have trained with Play Pal and introduced the therapy in school, were recipients of the Play Pal awards. The Principal, Ms. Fionika Sanghvi enumerated on the advantages of the therapy as implemented in School and was supported by Ms. Sathe (Parent) who spoke of the positive changes in Sumedh’s behaviour. Ms. Vanessa Naronha recounted her experiences with Play Pal and the benefits that occurred through the therapy.
On 18th November 2019, Students of SPJ Sadhana were invited to participate in ROSHNI – The Musical event 2019 sponsored by Secure Giving. Ms. Sanjana Pore won the Prize for the Solo dance performance and special accolades for her own choreography. Ujwalika Singh, Priyanshu Rastogi and Aryaman Purandare were awarded first place for their singing and the group dance earned a well-deserved commendation. Thank you students!
On 5th November 2019, the 20 students of the School of Nursing , Parsee General Hospital, visited S.P.J. Sadhana School on an educative visit and were oriented in the programme of the school by our counsellor Ms. Kashmira Vazifdar.
On 6th November 2019, 29 nursing students from the Bombay Hospital College of Nursing, visited SPJ Sadhana as part of their curriculum and were oriented in the working of the school by Ms. Kashmira Vazifdar-Counsellor.
Children’s Day Celebration was on 14th November 2019, Aparmita Singh and Sanjana Pore along with her sister Gayatri pore attended the Children’s Day celebration hosted by SOB Maharashtra at the ITC Grand Maratha, Mumbai. The event was graced by 10 times WWE Champion, Ms. Charlotte Flair, who intermingled with the students and encouraged them in their endeavours. Aparmita and Gayatri gave a candid interview to all India Radio, speaking of the event and Aparmita’s achievements.
On 19th November 2019, SPJ Sadhana School was awarded a Certificate of Recognition for supporting ‘Astitva Ek Pehchan’, a Sports event by the Rotaract Club of Lala Lajpatrai College. 16 of our students were ranked first, 16, second and 16, third in the various Athletics games. Bravo Students!
On 19th November 2019, 3 Athletes Aaryaman Purandare, Aryaman Kumar and Nikunj Shah from office Procedure Course Class participated in an invitation Foot Ball Match with Mumbai City Football Association player at Sports Association Ground Vashi, Navi Mumbai.
25th November 2019, 14 athletes from Pre-Vocational, Skills Enhancement, OPC and Visual Arts &Crafts participated in RYP Paralympic swimming competition at Prabodhan Thackarey Krida Sankul, Vile Parle. They won 4 Gold, 5 Silver and 1 Bronze medal.
On 18th October 2019, a workshop was conducted to introduce the auditory application AWAZ by Mr. Ramachandran D. The school has employed the ‘App” for assistive training in vocalization and enhancing vocabulary.