Anuradha Jatar and the Sulabha Trust

Anuradha, known as Sonu in the Jatar family, is the wife of Jairaj Jatar, who is the son of Bhalachandra Jatar (known as Chandu).  B.S. Jatar (Chandu) is the son of Baburao, the grandson of Bapurao and the great-grandson of Shriram Jatar.  He lives with his son Jairaj and his family in Mumbai. Jairaj and Anuradha (Sonu) have two daughters, Ketaki and Shivani.

The following post and pictures are contributed by Anuradha Jatar

Us 4 at Mt Batur (2)
From Left to Right: Jairaj, Ketaki, Sonu and Shivani at Mt. Batur

 

About Anuradha (Sonu) Jairaj Jatar (nee Anuradha Purushottam Moghe)

I was already working in the special school for intellectually disabled when I met Jairaj. A chance meeting at a common friends’ marriage reception turned in to a long-term association and relationship. I had vaguely heard of Jairaj as my cousin (Gita Ghate) was his classmate at Elphinstone College. They used to meet occasionally.

My association with the Jatar family was even older than that. The late Bal Jatar’s mother, Radha Vahini, was from the Pandit family of Wai. And so was my maternal grandmother, Mrs Sushila Bhatavadekar (nee Pandit). The Matunga Bhatavadekars would frequently meet with the Parsi colony/Tata Power Jatars on a personal and social basis!

It is hardly a surprise then that Bal Kaka and Anjali Vahini were roped in to “arrange” our wedding in 1991. It was a natural choice.

Srinivas Jatar was in my college (SIES, Sion ) where he pursued Biochemistry and I pursued Biology.

There was already an Anuradha in the Jatar family (Vaishali, Mrudula and Nandita’s mother) and so I was fondly called by my nickname “Sonu” by all in the Jatar family. Unfortunately, the older Anuradha Jatar died a few years after my marriage.

If I am not mistaken, many of the Jatar children (and related families) were born at the Family Nursing Home that was started in 1946 by my maternal grandfather Dr Dattaraye Bhatavadekar, at Matunga.

As of today, I have been the Headmistress for the school of the intellectually disabled for the last 30 years. The school was founded in the form of a Trust by various of my family members one of which, Dr Sulabha Bhatavadekar, was my maternal aunt. Incidentally, another founder, Dr Sreelekha Kulkarni (of Kamayani fame) is also related to the Jatar family so this is another link I have with the family.

sonu in school
Anuradha is on the extreme right

 

The Sulabha Trust

The school was started by family members and Dr. Sulabha Bhatavadekar (my maternal aunt) was one of the founders. Another founder is Dr Sreelekha Kulkarni (of Kamayani fame).

The Sulabha Trust, located in Chembur, is registered with Charity Commissioner, Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act (FCRA), Income Tax Act, Niti Aayog, Commissioner of Disabilities, Maharashtra State.

The school was established 40 years ago. The Sulabha Trust has the following sections:

  • A Special School for students between 5 to 18 years. At present we have 100 in the school.
  • A Vocational Training Centre for 18 to 30 years of age. We have 32 young adults working on different trades such as weaving, making files, incense sticks and imitation jewellery etc. The products are sold to the general public. Some members of the Mumbai  Jatar bhishi still buy the floor swabs and kitchen napkins.
  • A Guidance and Counselling centre.
  • An Early Intervention Clinic in which students below the age of 6 years with delayed physical and mental milestones are identified and referred for Occupational Therapy.
  • A speech therapy centre

The facilities the school provides are for a person from childhood to adulthood. The teachers are well-trained. Free education is given to all students. The trust finds sponsors to sponsor them. The students of the school regularly practise and participate in Special Olympics, Bharat, Maharashtra – individual and team games.

Recently, in the World Games for Special Olympics held at Abu Dhabi, UAE, in March 2019, two of our girl students participated in badminton and swimming. One student won two gold medals – in Badminton Singles and Doubles. The other student, who participated in swimming, came in 8th place in the final race. The credit goes to the participants themselves and their trainers, parents and class teachers who worked together and prepared the special needs children for this achievement. It is a matter of pride for the school that they reached this level of achievement.

sonu olympic
You might be surprised to know how conscientious and competitive these students with special needs and different abilities can be! They do not function age-appropriately, yet they are eager learners. It is a challenging job for teachers and they are elated with students’ achievements, even if it is a small skill that they master!

We focus on independent living skills, gross and fine motor development and perceptual areas. Yoga, Social skills, Functional Academics, Computers, Art, Craft, Stitching, Prevocational Training, Office Skills, Music, Dance are all taught in the school.

We try and place them wherever possible in open employment and some are suggested home-based activities (depending on individual cases). The Trust supports them for this.

Please visit the Sulabha Special School when in Mumbai. 
For more details, you can visit our website: www.sulabhaspecialschool.org

The Jatar Family Bhishis

Bhishi is a gathering of people who generally meet monthly and each contributes a small amount towards a fund which goes to the person hosting it. It is a type of kitty party…in other words, it is an excuse to keep in touch on a regular basis.

The women of the Jatar Family (and their descendants) have done a great job in maintaining the bhishi for the last 20 years, and more. It’s amazing that the bhishi includes not just first, second and third cousins (spouses too) but also cousins twice removed. Also aunts and nieces, several times removed. The bhishi has everyone with Jatar blood, or someone Continue reading “The Jatar Family Bhishis”