Esha Meher

I Can Flyy – An Initiative which helps Special Needs Individuals in Kolkata

By | Esha Meher, Life | One Comment

“Some of the most wonderful people are the ones that don’t fit into boxes.”

~Tori Amos

The writer Gabriel Garcia Marques, had once woven a beautiful story called ‘I sell my Dreams’ about the prophetic Frau Freida who made a living by selling what happens to be the most innate part of one’s soul, she sold her dreams. And god, what a life she lived! Much sought after, as people flocked to know what unfolded in her last siesta. Some made a living out of dreaming, and for the rest of commoners like us, we find an antidote to the malaises within our dreams. When the reality appears too harsh to be accepted, we dream of a better future, a hopeful tomorrow. But then, what happens to the ones who haven’t learned to see a tomorrow for themselves?

They say that to rob someone of money is wrong, but to rob an individual of their dreams is probably a graver sin. In a hedonistic society, like ours, we commit such sins every day. Segregating and branding people ‘unworthy’ of an opportunity. Sometimes on class, sometimes on color, and sometimes on the way one is abled. I Can Flyy is an initiative, whose Founder refused to walk by the  ways of this world challenging society’s cruel ways of branding people. We are born with our destinies, and as humans, we all deserve an equal chance to shape it. 
We know that time, empathy and compassion is what we lack today. We do not stop by for the ones who might lag a step behind. Because well, we are all in a fight. Darwin led the way and we fight along to be the fittest.

Amazing goodies created by the I Can Flyy members.

However, there are places on this very planet which form a warm cradle of a comforting space and within the walls of one such warm cocoon, lies an initiative called I Can Flyy – a center for vocational training for Special Needs individuals. It aims to empower the young minds, arming them with an arsenal of know how in crafts, baking, data entry, launderette operations etc. The knowledge is not only intended to benefit them monetarily but instills in them a sense of vision in this competitive world. They are taught to create things fit for a demand in the market, the market of commoners. To say that it instills in them a sense of self-worth, may not be the best way to put it. So, we settle for saying that at I Can Flyy, we tell them of their right to dream, we remind them once again, that, while everyone may not be abled the same way, we’re all able nonetheless. And that’s the only factor that matters. Food and goodies made by Special Need Young Adults are sold and they are rightfully handed over what their creation fetched, ensuring a steady occupation on the lines of what their real calling was.
The facility’s latest addition is slated to open doors in August 2017. Watch this space for more on this brand new member of the I Can Flyy Family!

The Initiative houses itself on 4B Valmikee Street, Kolkata 700026.
Find them on Facebook

About the Author: 

Esha Meher is a post graduate student of the London School of Economics and Political Science. She nurtures a keen interest in feminism and human fights and can be found painting or reading when not engaged in matters of the day.

The Tale of Bengal – By Esha Meher

By | Blogging, Esha Meher | No Comments

Once upon a time, she was the glory of the crown. The majestic jewel, the lovingly spoilt one. As the days went by, tales of her valor and glory traveled far and wide, wayfarers from the distant lands sang her praises, a curious yet brave bunch amongst them reared a dream, and armed with ambitions, they crossed the 7 oceans and 13 rivers to catch a glimpse of the undeterred beauty. And then, it happened.

The land of Bengal which took great pride in her riches and fortunes gave in to a momentary lapse. A lapse of judgment induced by an exalted sense of superiority with immense faith in destiny, which apparently claimed that she was destined to rule Hindustan forever, and ages after forever. The Great Battle of Plassey proved them wrong, as Mir Jafar turned against his brother in faith, to give away Nawab Sirajuddaulah of Bengal, while Dewan Mohanlal fought swearing by the Khatriyapurana, doing his dharma of protecting his Ruler before the British army. 

Bengal is the land of Goddess Durga, it is the land of many pirs and imams who pray five times a day facing the Mecca. This is their holy place, as faith resides deep in their hearts hand in hand with love and devotion to our golden land. It is often said, in the Gita and Quran alike, that God only inflicts so much suffering as what one can bear. And this land has borne, more than others. It has cried tears of humiliation at Plassey, the sons of Durga and the followers of Mohammed alike, suffered centuries of imposed servitude as the British ruled the country headquartered in this state, The Brahmins and the Maulavis standing by each other, starved by the great famines – watching mothers in their black burqas and their red and white sarees beat their chests in sorrow, in unison. When history and nature couldn’t break her spirit, policy tried its hand. The bloodsoaked partition of the state, on the nonexistent lines of religion. And behold! That worked. It created the country of Bangladesh. But it failed to divide the hearts of the dwellers of this land, who were Bengalis by birth, by the soul. 
We Bengalis, are different from the rest of the country. We are ruled by our emotions and united by our love for art and culture. We Bengalis, are the most righteous of them all. We ask them questions. We stood firmly behind Raja Rammohan Roy, Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, and Surendranath Roy when they questioned Sati and a ban on widow remarriage when the Vedas were made to play the devil. We lent our ears to Kazi Nazrul Islam, when he revolted against the social ills, christening him the “bidrohi kobi” (the revolutionary poet). We were there when Binay, Badal, Dinesh challenged the British Crown for trying to divide us. We were there when Master Da Surya Sen inspired a generation of teenagers to challenge the powers and break down the Chittagong armory. The Crown divided our land, but they failed to fragment the pieces of our souls. 
We are all who listened to the great poet, Tagore. He was taught by his motherland to believe in a soul which stood without traces of fear, he called upon his brothers and sisters to march alone, if no one came along. And we heard. And we believed. And we lived by it. 
From housing the glorious erstwhile capital of British India to being called a city which lives in an era behind the country, we saw it all. Today in the year 2017, when the nation faces grave crises in the name of religious divisions, once again Bengal stands at the crossroads of witnessing history. The modern cynic says we won’t escape. The cow politics and the skull cap fanaticism will finally tear us apart. And yet the old and wise, smile. We’ve withstood the Conspiracies of the most dreaded colonizers of the world, the sons and daughters of Bengal have refused to cower under the terror of the known devils and the unknown ones. Distortions of democracy can never shake our roots.
Yes, the old and the wise smile. They smile with the memories of yesteryears on their eyelids, the sound of the counch of an evening puja reverberates on the tall white walls of the old building, slowly diffusing into the call of azaan of the neighborhood mosque. Cause Bengal is not just a State. It is a feeling.

About the Author: 

Esha Meher is a post graduate student of the London School of Economics and Political Science. She nurtures a keen interest in feminism and human fights and can be found painting or reading when not engaged in matters of the day.