188. Love has no language
After reading about Barfi – the upcoming hindi movie where the protagonist is deaf and dumb my thoughts go out to the little children in Barapani (Big Lake) in Shillong at the Ferrando Speech and Hearing Center – a not for profit center neatly enveloped between the beautiful Umiam Lake and the hills of Meghalaya. My first tryst with the center and what they do occurred in the summer of 2002 while I embarked on my first visit to the North East of India. In the last 12 years I have tried to go there every 24 months but with my overseas stint that record is bound to break.
Well, the point of this blog is that there are some non-profits we seldom get to hear of and some make waves all the time. The differentiator is in marketing the work done externally. The Ferrando Speech and Hearing Center does not even have a website of its own and it’s high time I decided to sponsor one.
For over a decade I have kept this a secret except from a bunch of close friends but it is time now for me to help promote this little heaven. The center run by a bunch of nuns takes in children as young as 3 who are abandoned by their parents when they discover that they have a speech and hearing impairment, mostly very poor tribals in the Khasi and Garo hills of Meghalaya and given year round care and education to help them live a life of disability with ease and dignity . On my first visit I chose to sponsor two children and pay for their education.
The contribution is minuscule (about $50 / Rs 2500 per child annually) and you too can join this movement by contacting me or reaching directly to Sr Merly Tom, the founder and Principal of the center ( She checks mails once a month but can be reached on phone easily. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org )who strikes a smart deal with parents who come to drop their children for good. She promises to take care of these kids till they grow into adulthood as long as the parents visit the children once in 6 months and take the kids home for an annual vacation. Some parents cannot afford or just don’t care but the love and affection these kids numbering around 150 get is enormous.
You could either send a payable at par cheque/or demand draft in favour of Ferrando Speech and Hearing Centre, Shillong or do an online bank transfer to Account Number – 0578053000000163 IFSC code – SIBL0000578 – this is South Indian Bank, Bara Bazar Branch, Shillong – A/c in the name of Ferrando Speech and Hearing Centre.
Ferrando Speech and Hearing centre, Umniuh-Khwan, PO – UCC, District – Ri-Bhoi – 793122 Meghalaya
Mobile – Sr Merly: 94361 01037
The centre is a two hour drive from the Guwahati International Airport and on the way to Shillong which is 30 minutes away. The centre now has a new neighbour in the form of a resort where tourists and visitors can stay. But remember one night at the resort will cost as much as it takes to feed one child at the centre.
http://bit.ly/UyLUQv – short link to the blog