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International Women’s Day – The Road to Women Empowerment

International Women’s Day – The Road to Women Empowerment

International Women’s Day has emerged as a global revolution in the recent years. Famous personalities, conglomerates, and women from every field are coming forward and sending a universal message that women are equal to men. Women have proven it time and again, in various fields including, but not limited to, sports, business, academics, and the list goes on. Today, people take Indra Nooyi’s name with as much respect and awe as Ratan Tata or Aditya Birla. Mithali Raj is cheered and loved as much as Virat Kohli. If these examples establish a fact then it is this, women’s rights are no more about treating them specially, it’s about treating them equally, providing them with equal opportunities and celebrating their achievements equally. Dr Vandana Sharma, Director, MBCN, spoke on the same lines quoting, “We, as women shouldn’t seek special privileges if we wish to be treated in equal capacity as men.”

While we speak of equality, we cannot overlook various conditions that need focus, like women’s safety, taboo around menstruation, and access to sanitary pads. A recent survey presented some alarming facts related to the use of sanitary napkins amongst Indian women. It showed that 88% of menstruating women don’t use sanitary napkins. Even shocking is the fact that they use alternatives like unsanitized cloth, ashes, husk sand etc. Sheeba Naqbi, Vice Principal, MBCN, made a strong point saying, “Issues being faced by women need to be addressed every day and not just on Women’s Day. Attitudinal barriers must be eliminated from our society, especially regarding sanitation. For instance, sanitary pads shouldn’t be hidden in black poly bags anymore.”

The world must look for all the possible ways to empower women, to make them feel no different than men and to make them feel equally entitled to every opportunity out there. This vision cannot be achieved by a single individual or an organization. Everyone must come together and do their part. The Ponty Chadha Foundation is a firm believer in gender indiscrimination and equal rights for women. This International Women’s Day, The Ponty Chadha Foundation ran a successful social media campaign titled #WeMeanPower. The motto of this campaign was to celebrate the spirit of women who broke all the stereotypes and making it big in their respective field. The campaign celebrated the fact that they were not in fact celebrities rather extraordinary women living ordinary lives. People were asked to share the story of a wonder woman they know and get her featured on The Ponty Chadha Foundation Facebook page where the whole world can see their inspirational stories.

Women empowerment revolution has come a long way. But we will have to admit that it’s still a long journey ahead. On this International Women’s Day, let us take a resolution to do all it takes to give power to women while focusing on the issues that are becoming the hindrances.

MBCN Celebrates Its 19th Annual Day

MBCN Celebrates Its 19th Annual Day

A special day at a special school with super-special students, the MBCN Annual Day 2018 was indeed an eventful day. With over 330 students participating, it was a matter of utter joy and pride to us to have pulled off the event on such a grand scale. Leaving our books aside, we made sure it was a fun-filled day all along.
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The 19th Annual Day of MBCN was held on 16th February 2018 in full grandeur. The Guest of Honour for the day was Dr. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey, Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Chairperson of National Trust. As the day started off, we welcomed the guests with heartwarming gifts crafted by our students. This was followed by the lamp lighting ceremony and a speech delivered by Dr. Pandey. In a moment of sheer delight to us, the honourable chief guest expressed how unique and one-of-a-kind he found MBCN to be. Amidst the beginnings, the most heartening moment was when our students made the Indian National Anthem their own and acted it out in Sign Language.

The stage was then taken by Manpreet Singh Chadha, Managing Director of The WAVE Group. Addressing our way forward, Mr. Chadha introduced our upcoming undertaking of the Centre for Research, Innovation & Technology for Disability, our sign language programme targeted to parents of the hearing impaired and so on. Speaking of the year 2017, he shared his joy at the massive success of our campaign, Connecting Signs. He also mentioned the accolades MBCN has received of late, including its high ranks by Education World – first in NOIDA, fourth in Delhi/NCR and sixth in India in the Special Needs category.
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It was followed by a speech by our Director at MBCN, Dr. Vandana Sharma. Reminiscing the journey that 2017 was, she spoke heartily of the milestones we achieved through the course of the year. Beginning with our new venture in K9 therapy, the launch of the Vaakya app & Swayam, the handicraft wing of MBCN, to our groundbreaking Indian Sign Language campaign Connecting Signs – her words were the articulation of what a remarkable year we have had.

What came next was a wonderful joyride of fun and entertainment. Themed on the idea of ‘TeleHungama’, the performances by our talented students were a treat to the eyes. Keeping TV channels in the genres of health, news and regionality as inspiration, our little stars really owned the show with their engaging acts. A short break ensued with the award distribution segment. Be it students, teachers, parents or volunteers, it was a fantastic opportunity for us to recognise the efforts, contributions & achievements that make MBCN what it is. The awards were distributed by our chief guest Dr. Pandey with the widest smile on his face.
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After the awards ceremony, it was again time for us to get back to the fun of ‘TeleHungama’. From the enactment of top-rated programmes like KBC to blockbusters like Baahubali, adored cartoon shows like Chhota Bheem, Doraemon & Noddy to displaying their own rendition of popular TV commercials – it was spectacular, to say the least! In addition to this, the students also performed their own version of a talent show consisting of stellar performances. Whether it’s that phenomenal teacher-student dance jugalbandi, the extravagant puppet dance, the wonderful cultural dance numbers or the entertaining play-acting, our students and spectators had a blast throughout the day!
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The event, concluded with a grand finale, has helped us reach an all-time high of delight. An occasion marked by splendour at every step, the 19th MBCN Annual Day is a new milestone that we’ll cherish forever.
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Let there be light this International Book Giving Day

Let there be light this International Book Giving Day

“You cannot open a book without learning something.” – Confucius

Eating, shopping, exercising and what not, times have changed the ways we do most of our daily activities. The role of books in our lives remains undiminished, nevertheless. A trustworthy guide and a fun companion, books can play a myriad of parts in an individual’s life. Besides building minds, they are the shapers of the society.

In order to make sure that no child is deprived of the nourishment of reading, 14th February is celebrated worldwide as the International Book Giving Day. The aim was to have the written word reach out to even those who are not fortunate enough to access them. A symbolic day, it’s a great occasion to promote the necessity of books in one’s life.

Although it’s celebrated just one day, the season of books lasts all year long. With the right amount of push and encouragement, the healthy habit of reading can be garnered in a child. Most of us consider textbooks as the only books apt for children. The fact, however, is that the more one reads, the more one learns and grows.

When it comes to inculcating the enthusiasm for books in children, some of us get bogged down by their fleeting attention spans. The code is to not force a book on a child. From what theory and practice have taught us, children learn faster when they are constantly exposed to something. The idea is to raise children in a space surrounded by books. Plus, the more they see their parents or grown ups read, the more their intrigue will be piqued. The key, therefore, is to lead by example and steady exposure to books.

Another important aspect of the day lies in advocating the access to books. In our country, a child who has never got to lay his/her hands on a book isn’t a rarity. The spirit of International Book Giving Day is incomplete without attempting to make books universal. Therefore, let’s participate in this grand cause with full enthusiasm and make someone’s life rich with books and learning.

Republic Day Through The Eyes of a Child

Republic Day Through The Eyes of a Child

Republic Day is an important occasion that fills our hearts with pride and joy. While as adults, we understand the true essence of the day, little children in India have a unique and a heartwarming take on Republic Day, which holds different meanings for each child across the nation.

At MBCN, Republic Day is marked with a day full of exciting activities and events, helping the specially-abled children revisit the country’s glorious past and inspiring them to create new avenues of change for a bright and promising future. Our children are the ones who sow the seeds of a fruitful future, after all. And as citizens of this country, it is our duty to imbibe them with a sense of pride and righteousness that can help them become successful leaders tomorrow.

Recently, we went around the MBCN school and asked several children what Republic Day meant to them, and were amused with the innocent responses. While for some, Republic Day means a holiday and a chance to play all day, for others it’s a day when they are truly excited to watch the hoisting of the flag, followed by distribution of sweets, and other fun-filled activities that rekindle their young, patriotic spirit. For many, Republic Day is a day to celebrate the brave soldiers and the selfless martyrs who gave up their lives for our prosperity and safety. But what tops the list is the colourful and bright parade, which the kids love to watch with wonderstruck eyes.

Here are a couple of drawings made by the MBCN kids, showcasing Republic Day through the eyes of the little ones, and what it means to them.

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Republic Day Contest Alert: Guess The Sign & Win BIG

Republic Day Contest Alert: Guess The Sign & Win BIG

Republic Day is a pivotal day in India, and as citizens, we take immense pride in celebrating the many facets of being Indian. Besides the vibrant parade on television that has everyone glued to their TV sets at home, it is a day for us to look back at our rich heritage and cultural history, while looking forward and paving the way with opportunities galore for future generations.

Keeping up with the patriotic spirit this year, The Ponty Chadha Foundation is taking the #ConnectingSigns a level up, and is encouraging users to participate in an exciting and brain-tingling contest that will begin on 23rd January, and close on the 25th.

How does the contest work?

Starting 23rd January, The Ponty Chadha Foundation’s Facebook and Twitter pages will share video snippets, which would be cuts from the original ‘National Anthem in Sign Language’ video. The audience will be asked to guess the signs enacted by the special children.

The users will have to guess and comment using the hashtag #GuessTheSign.

Simple, right?

With the invigorating and fun-filled #GuessTheSign contest, The Ponty Chadha Foundation will not just get people to participate and showcase their knowledge on sign language, but it will also be a grand opportunity for lucky winners to walk away with grand prizes.

If you’ve heard it, seen it, and loved it, then this is your chance to play and win!

Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages here, and participate NOW!

Laughter Day: MBCN teachers are a boon to the lives of special children

Laughter Day: MBCN teachers are a boon to the lives of special children

In a world full of despair and uncertainty, it’s always a good idea to take a break, and laugh away our fears and miseries. At MBCN, we believe in spreading smiles and unlimited happiness, and our teachers definitely go the extra mile in instilling positive vibes in the air, full of mirth, fun, and laughter.

Laughing may not be the quickest solution to a problem, and it will not change the situation, but what it does change is the way we look at things, and our overall perspective on life. Our mood defines everything, and how we react to certain situations can make or break us in ways we can’t even imagine.

Spreading love, being kind, and staying happy have a magnetic effect, especially when we deal with people on a day-to-day basis. At MBCN, we strongly believe in the power of happiness, and in dispersing happy vibes wherever we go, and in whatever we do!

We don’t need a particular day to express happiness or laugh out loud. It is a feeling we instil in our special children every single day. Laughter is something that helps us connect to one another, and alleviates any form of stress or tension. People go out of their way when it comes to joining special laughter clubs, as that becomes an escape from the monotony, and things that bring us down. At MBCN, we thrive on this concept 365 days of the year.

The MBCN teachers are the sole reason for the smiling faces of our students that you see in the photographs below. Teaching by the book is alien to their style of teaching. Instead, they interact with children in a friendly way, which makes the learning atmosphere more conducive and comfortable. Telling jokes, sharing fun-filled experiences and positivity are the three keys to a happy, friendly environment at MBCN.

We’ll let the pictures do all the ‘smiling’ for us now!
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Christmas and New Year Celebrations at MBCN

Christmas and New Year Celebrations at MBCN

Christmas is all about sharing and being generous. It is a time where people come together to give and receive, and spread the love and mirth wherever they go. With the festive spirit in full swing, the staff and volunteers at The Ponty Chadha Foundation left no stone unturned in touching lives and making a difference in the world of the underprivileged.

On December 24th, a special winter carnival was organised, wherein several stalls were placed. The stalls featured exciting and engaging games like Lucky 7, glass game, marble game, ring game, coin game, and Abra Ka Dabra. Besides this, the guests could indulge in their favourite foods like Chole Bhature, Jalebi, Biryani, Pizza, Chinese delights, and South Indian snacks. The crowd spanned across all age groups and backgrounds, and it was heartwarming to see everyone come together and enjoy themselves in the best way possible.

This year, the special attraction at the winter carnival was the ‘Let’s Share’ Corner, where people could donate things like toys, clothes, stationery, books, home furnishings etc. The purpose of this corner was to not just provide to those in need, but to also encourage children to share with others.

Djembe Circle, an open drumming platform, was also a major highlight at the carnival, which was a not-for-profit initiative that stands for different causes, and promotes harmony through music and various stage acts. This drum-based therapy is an ancient approach that uses rhythms to promote healing and self expression. It also allows people to be involved in a hands-on way. Needless to say, it was a hit with the guests. The carnival also had a Pink Corner, which was to raise awareness around crimes against women.

The one thing that the children anxiously waited for towards the end of the carnival was Santa, who came like a whirlwind and delighted everyone with different surprise gifts. The sheer happiness on the children’s faces says it all!

The fun-filled day ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. Vandana Sharma (MBCN director).

Healing the world… one campaign at a time!

Healing the world… one campaign at a time!

If there is one thing the world needs more than money, it is acceptance. Acceptance of those who can’t speak, hear, or comprehend. Shunning stereotypes around disability is the need of the hour, and as human beings, if we don’t take stock of the situation now, we are headed for utter doom and despair. There are several institutions and government-led bodies that deliberate over such issues, but India has a long way to go in making a difference that truly lasts.

With that being said, 2017 has been a pivotal year for MBCN, as it has led two distinguished campaigns revolving around World Disability Day and sign language. Both campaigns have not just highlighted the pressing issues at hand regarding disability, but have also educated the masses and raised awareness in a way that has had lasting effects.

Let’s start with #ConnectingSigns

This was an initiative by The Ponty Chadha Foundation, which not just taught the masses about sign language and its importance in society, but has also made people realise that specially-abled children, despite their disabilities, have numerous talents and skills that can shape the world in a wonderful and meaningful way.

The MBCN teachers and students went to several institutions and local eateries to share important knowledge on sign language, and taught different gestures, all of which were truly enlightening.

What really topped it all, was the Indian national anthem in sign language, which garnered 2,144,759 views on Facebook, besides reaching 9,664,507 viewers. In addition this, there were 25,000+ shares that really got the ball rolling in the right direction for the overall purpose of this campaign. In a nutshell, many hearts were touched on virtual as well as off-line platforms.

#BeyondDisability

This World Disability Day, the teachers and students at MBCN were on a mission to raise awareness about differently-abled kids, as they went about spreading their messages and thoughts across 100 schools in Noida. Besides generating hope to build a greater understanding around disability, the initiative gave way to open minds and positive attitudes.

Building a child’s self-esteem and self-worth is of paramount importance, especially when it comes to children with disability. Such children have so much to offer, but our regressive ways fail to take this into consideration. According to MBCN teachers, a loving and generous attitude is not just curtailed to the school space, but must be practiced at home too.

Through the #BeyondDisability campaign, the MBCN teachers managed to reach 100,000 students, and instill the power of positivity and love in all.

World Disability Day Celebrations at MBCN

World Disability Day Celebrations at MBCN

Being disabled should not be a reason for low self-esteem or lack of confidence, nor should it be a reason to view and treat people differently. As a society, if we help the specially-abled, we not only boost their confidence, but also help in improving their mental as well as physical health.

On the World Disability Day this year, MBCN took various initiatives to spread awareness around disability, and helped educate the masses on the importance of inclusiveness, apathy and action, through their campaign #BeyondDisability. The various activities carried out by MBCN and its staff were exclusively featured in India’s leading newspapers and media channels, such as Hindustan Times, Amar Ujala and Navodaya Times. Besides this, a live coverage was also showcased on social media channels, that gave real-time updates of the events to everyone on a global scale. Needless to say, the impact has been immense, and the change has stirred many mindsets across the nation.

The MBCN teachers successfully went from school to school, sowing fruitful seeds of thought that centred around an equal society that goes beyond disability for all. Spreading awareness about disability, they were the torchbearers of change who led the mission to its stupendous success. A robust call to action was urged through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, wherein Dr. Vandana Sharma, Director of MBCN, shared her thoughts and views regarding children with disability, and how despite the uphill struggles, there is always a way and solution that gives room to a brighter tomorrow.

Numerous case studies were also highlighted, which brilliantly captured the essence of the campaign. Parents, along with their specially-abled children, shared some thought-provoking experiences, which struck an emotional connect with the audience. They stressed on the importance of a loving and caring environment, not only in schools, but at home as well, which helps children flourish, despite their physical or mental drawbacks.

In addition to this, many specially-abled children came forward to share their success stories and spoke on how they have not let social taboos and stereotypes keep them from achieving their goals and dreams. All in all, the #BeyondDisability campaign at MBCN has created a movement that will not die out anytime soon. But will, instead, light the way for others, and will create a society that thrives on equality, love and acceptance for all.

Connecting Signs – The Ripples of Success

Connecting Signs – The Ripples of Success

Disabilities go beyond race, culture, age, gender and religion. As a society, we have always had the tendency to box people under different labels, and “categories”. But what we don’t realise is that humanity transcends beyond these stereotypes. Humans are beautiful and capable in every way, and they have a lot to offer the world; more than we can ever fathom.

Connecting Signs, an initiative by The Ponty Chadha Foundation, has not just educated the masses about sign language and its importance, but has also made people realise that specially-abled children, despite their disabilities, have endless amounts of talents and skills that can shape the world in a wonderful and meaningful way.

Over the last two months, the children of MBCN have left no stone unturned in making the Connecting Signs campaign a successful one. They went to several institutions and local eateries to share some knowledge on sign language, and taught different gestures and words, all of which were truly enlightening.

What really topped it all, however, was the Indian national anthem in sign language, which garnered 2,144,759 views on Facebook, besides reaching 9,664,507 viewers. To add to these fantastic figures, the 25,000+ shares really got the ball rolling in the right direction for the overall purpose of this campaign. In a nutshell, many hearts were touched on virtual as well as off-line platforms.

It has only been a couple of months, but the Connecting Signs campaign, has created countless ripples of change in our society. People have walked away with a sense of pride and wonder on seeing these special children, and their sheer positivity that outshines the disabilities they may have had.

Beyond Disability with MBCN

Beyond Disability with MBCN

Each year, the UN, along with the rest of the world, recognises World Disability Day, wherein specially-abled people are encouraged and empowered through skill-enabling activities, events and thought-provoking messages. The yearly theme provides an overarching focus on how the global communities can aim for greater inclusivity by removing technological, physical, and rigid points of view, that revolve around disability.

For World Disability Day 2017, the theme as advocated by the UN is ‘Transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all’. Going in sync with this idea, the MBCN faculty and staff have initiated a campaign called #BeyondDisability. True to its name and concept, the campaign is a sincere attempt at breaking stereotypes and taboos that come with disability.

This World Disability Day, the teachers and students at MBCN are on a mission to raise awareness about differently-abled kids, as they go about spreading their messages and thoughts across 100 schools in Noida. Besides sensitising the society, the MBCN teachers hope to build a greater understanding around disability, and to give way to open minds and positive attitudes.

Loving and caring gestures are not just pivotal in the school space, but are integral when it comes to building the child’s self-esteem and self-worth. Children with special abilities have a plethora of talents and skills to offer, which the society fails to take into consideration, due to self-made inhibitions and reservations.

With this ongoing campaign, MBCN teachers aim to reach 100,000 students, and instill the power of positivity in all. Going #BeyondDisability and accepting people for what and who they are is a thought that needs to find a permanent home in our minds. Unless we create a stir, we won’t witness ripples of change.

Here are some pictures that showcase the pride and resilience in the MBCN teachers and students, who are making a difference and breaking the shackles, that go #BeyondDisability.

The smiling faces say it all! Children’s Day celebrations at MBCN

The smiling faces say it all! Children’s Day celebrations at MBCN

November 14th of each year at MBCN has always been a wonderful reminder of how precious the innocence of our children is. If there is one thing that can conquer hearts the world over, it is the pure love exhibited by a child. Children today are the beacons of light and hope, and Children’s Day is an opportunity for us to help these little souls grow, learn and prosper.

2017 has been no different in spirit, yet it has been different when measured in how far we have come as an institution that strives to combat the social taboos around disability. We have grown immensely in inculcating our children with skills, that can help them live normal lives, along with their peers. We have also equipped our children with bundles of confidence, self love, and ambition, which will truly shape their lives for the better, in the years to come.

Children’s Day celebrations at MBCN not only celebrated the importance of these wonderful and highly talented children, but was also a way for us to celebrate the success we have had in our social endeavour.

From mime acting that showcased the importance of Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, and exhilarating dance and song performances, to skits and games, the MBCN students, as well as the teachers participated in all the fun activities.

The mime performances truly stood out in how well they were executed. The students expressed the importance of clean classrooms, clean school surroundings, and also exhibited the importance of careful driving on the road. All this and more made the day extremely exciting and spirited for the parents and teachers, whose faces were full of pride.

Below are some pictures, that will provide a sneak peek into the day’s events and activities.