Saturday, October 12, 2013

BIS # 3704 DON BOSCO COUNSELLING CENTRE-NASHIK, ANSWERS THE NEED OF THE HOUR

by  Fr. Edward D'Souza 

NASHIK-MAHARASHTRA, OCTOBER 11, 2013: A two day seminar on learning issues of children and adolescents was held at Prafulta, Don Bosco Counseling Centre, Nashik on 28th and 29th September, 2013. It was hosted and conducted by the centre itself for over 60 parents, teachers and mental health professionals from Nashik.

Mrs. Sunita Samant, Clinical Psychologist, Remedial Teacher and coordinator of the centre, who left no stone unturned to achieve the goals of the seminar, welcomed the participants and in true Indian tradition invoked God's blessings on the proceedings of the two days. Speaking on the occasion, Fr. Godfrey D'souza SDB, the chief guest, impressed on the participants the need for psychological services in Nashik and he congratulated the team of Don Bosco Counseling Centre for taking the initiative to begin such services.

While Dr. Anand Patil, Consulting Psychiatrist and De-addiction specialist, drove home the lesson that children are mirror images of their parents and hence the need to be good 'role models' and communicators to prevent addiction. Fr. Edward D'Souza SDB and Mrs. Sunita Samant, invited the participants to crack the enigma of Learning Disabilities (L.D.). At the end of the first day the participants commented that they were so much more confident and enlightened about the challenges of parenting. From the comments gathered during lunch there was a clear feeling that they had cracked the enigma of L.D.

Dr. Kersi Chavda, Consultant Psychiatrist, P.D. Hinduja Groups of Hospitals, brought to rest many fears with his very informative presentation on the issues of Depression, Suicide and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) that affects 105,00,000 children in India. "I am glad that I attended the seminar despite being a Sunday," said Sr. Velankanni, Principal of St. Philomena's High School, Nashik. She added, "I need to consult him (Dr. Kersi) about some of my students". With inputs on Autism from Mrs. Jayanthi R. Vishvanath, Special Educator (ASD), and Speech Disorders from Rochelle Fernendez,-Audiologist & Speech Therapist, the curiosity of the participants grew even more. Mrs. Anjali Marwah- Occupational Therapist and Lecturer at Probodhini Teacher Training Institute evoked tremendous interest among the participants in an area of mental health that was new to most of the audience. Slow Learners, Mental Retardation and Cerebral Palsy were yet other uncharted fields explored at the end of the two days by Mrs. Smita Fernandez the Special Educator (MR).

The close of the seminar saw many parents with Mrs. Samant, the Coordinator of Prafulta, Don Bosco Counseling Centre, Nashik, seeking to know the how and when of the services offered by the centre. These were indeed two very satisfying days for the participants and the organizers. "It is the need of the hour for Nashik…….long overdue" said a concerned parent. Dr. Sonawnis and Dr. Anand Patil echoed the same sentiments. Mrs. Meenakshi Pradhan, a parent of Don Bosco High School, expressed the need for creating a greater awareness of such issues among parents through more of such seminars.

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