The Ponty Chadha Foundation – Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan: Ensuring a Sustainable Future for the Coming Generations

The Ponty Chadha Foundation
The Ponty Chadha Foundation

If we believe it in our hearts, we can turn the impossible into I’m possible. Grandson of late Smt. Bhagwanti Devi Chadha, Late Sh. Gurdeep Singh Chadha, lovingly known as Ponty Chadha, too believed that it is the mother who with an eternal source of universal love in her heart believes that she can turn her children’s disabilities into abilities of the specially gifted kind. With his mother’s blessing and always guided by compassion for the Specially Abled Children, he had the interest to bring the physically, mentally, or intellectually challenged people at par with the rest of the world. As an honoring gesture in the loving memory of the late Smt. Bhagwanti Devi Chadha, his deceased grandmother, he founded Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN) School in 1999. He aimed at touching these children’s lives in a way that made their lives considerably better and worth living.

The Ponty Chadha Foundation – CSR Initiative of WAVE Group

Ever since its inception in 1963, the WAVE Group has been spreading its wings to almost all domains of business starting from sugar manufacturing, distilleries, paper manufacturing, real estate, malls and multiplexes to spirits, liquor retail, and distribution, sports and entertainment.

Revealing his own journey in the not-for-profit sector, Mr. Manpreet Singh Chadha, Chairman of the Wave Group, says that his father has been without a doubt, his greatest source of inspiration. He states, “An integral belief of the Wave Group is to give back and empower the society through its CSR arm The Ponty Chadha Foundation (PCF).” The fulfillment of giving back to society is something he has learned from his father. He shares, “Charitable causes were always a priority for us, even before the term CSR was coined.”

Manpreet says that at PCF, their vision is to enable people to realize their full potential so that they actively participate in improving their social and economic growth for creating a world of inclusion. To fulfil this vision, they have created a clear-cut mission, “We keep community service in the forefront and are committed to work for common social challenges faced by the marginalized and other neglected members of the society,” says Manpreet.

The Ponty Chadha Foundation is committed to taking his legacy of wisdom, courage, and morality way forward. “Eventually, it’s not about what we have attained, it’s about the difference we made in the life of others. At Ponty Chadha Foundation we are committed to reaching the highest standards of services for the welfare of people in need. Our foundation believes that the role of philanthropy is to make sustainable solutions for every individual. Our foundation strives to be a catalyst of change,” states Manpreet.

Presently, PCFs CSR projects ranges from successfully running Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN), Skill Development, Primary Health Care, Food Bank, Promoting Sports, Capacity Building, Awareness Drives, and Centre for Research Innovation and Technology.

MBCNThe Catalyst of Change

Today, as a charitable school for special children that works under the aegis of the Ponty Chadha Foundation (PCF), MBCN believes in the ethos of diversity, equality, and inclusion. The school believes that every child has the right to education and a bright future, regardless of their unique challenges and special needs. Besides equipping them with skills based on a specially designed curriculum, the school provides rehabilitation services to children with intellectual impairment, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, hearing impairment, and multiple disabilities. Presently the institution provides rehabilitation services to 500 beneficiaries absolutely free of cost. The school makes sure that learning is enjoyable for special ones and enables them to achieve maximum independence with their limited abilities. Besides this, the curriculum also includes activities of daily living, motor skills, communication, and linguistic, social, and emotional context.

The school’s faculty is highly trained and is committed to creating an environment that maximizes the quality of learning. The school also has in-house medical practitioners as well as doctors for consultation who have experience and expertise in physiotherapy, sensory integration therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.

Manpreet further says that they are among a handful of rehabilitation centres for kids with special needs. He adds, “Our school not only brings more than 500 differently-abled children under the same roof, but it also provides a friendly and empathetic environment for a supportive approach towards moving ahead with life.” The co-curricular and class activities that are scheduled for the batches are specially modulated keeping in mind their limitations, and using their strengths. It instills a belief in every child that he or she is gifted and not deprived.

Most of the teachers in the school are parents of differently-abled children and so care and being considerate comes automatically. Even the support staff on board understands every child’s needs and limitations and helps the child accordingly.

At MBCN, they focus on:

·         “Providing rehabilitation and personal development services and support our students and trainees and provide them with what they need in every area of their lives, maximizing their integration in the mainstream.

·         Creating the possibility for optimum quality of life for our students and trainees and their families.

·         Facilitating empowerment of people with disability, their families, care given, and communities,” says Manpreet.

Centre for Research Innovation & Technology: VAAKYA – Augmentative and Alternate Communication

Being an experienced leader, Manpreet shares his opinion on how adopting modern digital technologies impacts the social reform sector and how MBCN is adapting to the change. He says, “Modern digital technologies are redefining our daily lives, and future needs and are proving to be a boon for differently abled children and adults.”

In this regard, they developed an in-house app VAAKYA which is a picture-based AAC (Augmentative and Alternate Communication) app designed to assist people with speech impairments. The problem of speech impairment may exist in cases such as aphasia, MND/ALS, after a stroke, vocal cord disorder, or other deformations leading to voice loss. It is also suitable for individuals affected by autism, cerebral palsy, and various other mental and physical disorders. The app is an AAC tool that can be utilized during rehabilitation and conventional speech therapies. For individuals who are unable to read and cannot communicate, the app works as a useful tool as it banks on pictures (for visuals) and audio instead of text.

The responsive output through the app is exemplary, which helps the challenged person, his/her guardian, or parent to establish communication reciprocally. To have the most accurate conversation between the two, there is a checklist of important phrases which can be chosen by the guardians or parents accordingly. Needs and emotions related to food/drink, grooming, and dressing, recreation, queries, travelling, can be communicated through this auxiliary app.

Bringing a Positive Social Change

When probed that considering the current industry scenario, how they overcome the challenges faced by them, Manpreet shared that during the pandemic, MBCN designed and launched a special home-based education plan with the help of special educators and therapists. Since the students suffered from certain disabilities, IEP or Individualized Education Program identified their ages, disabilities, and abilities. Post this a special plan was customized for all students. “While this huge challenge has been a learning and rewarding experience for us, being a non-profit organization we are open to more people joining our charitable cause,” informs Manpreet.

Manpreet furthers that they are expanding their CSR drive to bring positive social change. “The main focus of our CSR verticals is the rehabilitation of people with disabilities. Besides this, we’re also working towards creating awareness in the community to make it more specially abled-friendly and sensitive towards their special needs. For this purpose, we are also using social media,” he adds.

He also adds that at MBCN, they impart the right vocational training to each student, depending upon their capabilities and limitations, to bring them at par with the world. This training gives them a sense of self-worth and economic independence. Besides, they learn the skill of developing interpersonal relationships.

The children who do not show much progress on the academic front are encouraged to pursue the vocational training programs. Not only this, the students also get a stipend for their contribution, as an encouragement for their hard work and special skills.

Expanding on the Sustainable Wisdom

In his advice to budding social entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the not-for-profit space, Manpreet expresses that having a definite goal for your corporate social responsibility allows you to create concrete plans to achieve them. Moreover, it helps you identify and measure the impacts you would want to get out of your endeavours. You can also align your social initiatives with your organizational objectives to fully integrate within your company’s culture.

Your business has the potential to change society—more so than an ordinary individual. You have the resources and workforce to influence systemic change for the better. Hence, it is high time you take up the mantle and promote social change.

Through this, you are also giving your employees a sense of purpose in their jobs. This can boost overall morale within your company and motivate them to work harder to achieve your shared goals.

Instead of seeing CSR as an onerous imposition and a 2% tax, see it as a 2% investment in building corporate reputation, employee engagement, and innovation. Real CSR not only renews the implicit license to operate given by society to your company, but it also helps create a functioning society that we can all live in,” he believes.

On envisioning scaling MBCN’s operations and offerings in the future, Manpreet reveals that they have a multifarious and varied approach to CSR.

*Primary Health Care

In its primary healthcare vision to ensure a healthy community, the PCF actively organizes free diagnostic health camps for village communities. PCF is associated with Dr. Ram Saran Garg Indo German Hospital has held over 234 health camps and has reached out to more than 38,750 people in 21 villages of Sun City and Wave City in NOIDA and Ghaziabad.

*Food Bank

The Ponty Chadha Foundation has tied-up with the India Food Banking Network (IFBN) to ensure the food security of those below the poverty line.

The Foundation is involved in the voluntary distribution of essential food grains such as rice and wheat and high energy biscuits and cookies to the underprivileged communities in NOIDA and Ghaziabad.

*Promoting Sports

Ponty Chadha Foundation aims to create awareness on Sports and its importance in our daily life. Manpreet says, “We aim to provide a platform to the Corporates and Business Community of India to showcase their talents in various indoor and outdoor sports. We plan to extend this initiative to other segments like social organizations, Government bodies, and other corporates as well.” PCF Cup, PCF Football League, is a small footstep of the Ponty Chadha Foundation, for creating a better world.

*Capacity Building

Capacity building is an ongoing process; it can also be described as the strategies or actions that MBCN has taken in order to ensure that the resources are optimally utilized in their maximum capacities.

Manpreet reveals, “In past 20 years of our service we have organized various workshops, trainings for our parents, teachers, peer groups and various other rehabilitation institutes on issues related to disability. Which reflects our commitment and perseverance towards the cause, as it helps us in coupling our evaluation process with the implementation process.” Internship of different rehabilitation professional and their training is also a part of PCFs capacity building process.

*Awareness Drives

The foundation realizes the value of creating awareness, as it opens the horizon and empowers a person to realize the areas of strength and weakness.

“We understand that such drives not only increase the enthusiasm of the masses but also act as a key for mobilizing resources and knowledge at the local level,” expresses Manpreet.

Since inception Ponty Chadha Foundation has been conducting various Awareness drives on issues related to the society like Disability, Women Safety, Sanitation, Fitness, and others.

*Centre for Research Innovation and Technology
PCF has ongoing research projects on,

Happy Periods – A Caregivers handbook for dealing with menstrual hygiene management in the special need adolescent, in collaboration with Amity Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences, Noida.

Swayam – A caregiver’s research handbook SWAYAM, for teaching Developmental Skills to the Children with Developmental Delays.

According to Manpreet, “In our case, it’s out of a sense of moral obligation to society that we have aligned our resources to focus on sustainability and offer insights into ethics concepts relevant to economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, and social equity.”

Through The PCF and MBCN, they are aiming at,

  • Expanding their services to more beneficiaries.
  • Sharing their experience and knowledge with like-minded organizations who desire to work in the same areas.
  • Using digital media for maximum outreach and awareness.

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Praise for MBCN:

  • It was overwhelming. The response and the interaction with the children were tremendous and wonderful, we hope to come back again. – Ryan International School-Noida
  • It was commendable to see the motivation of the Principal and Staff, in rendering true service by taking so much responsibility. Your work is incomparable. – Khaitan Public School
  • You are doing an absolutely wonderful and inspirational job. God bless you all. – Avtar Hari Singh Khalsa – Executive Board Member, Sikh Dharma International
  • I am really impressed by the dedication Principal and Staff toward the children. – Captain J S Randhawa
  • I have been deeply moved by this visit to see the dedication of staff under the direction of Ponty Chadha Ji. – Captain Amrinder Singh
  • Simply amazing, I am fully satisfied with the atmosphere, ambiance, and facilities available for children with special needs, and Dr Vandana is doing a splendid job. It is a service to humanity. I am sure with the passage of time and the dedication of staff it will grow and reach its zenith. I wish them all success, which they truly deserve. – Justice Deepak Verma-Ex Judge Supreme Court of India
  • It has been an honour to tour your school and view your incredible program and work. I have seen many school programs around the world and this is one of the most impressive operations in terms of scope, breadth, and accomplishment that I have ever seen. Your staff’s dedication is apparent on the faces of the children. Thank You for sharing the privilege of your school. Best of luck in continuing your mission. – Paige Okum-Special Olympics Asia Pacific-Singapore
  • I consider, it is a great honour to visit MBCN. The dedication of those involved in this great effort deserves to be congratulated and complimented for their most wonderful efforts. All of them are doing great service to society. God bless their effort. – B.U. Wanchoo- Ex-Governor Goa
  • We would like to thank the entire MBCN Management team for taking care of our children like their own children. The way the entire facility is managed is amazing. Honestly speaking we overall like the way MBCN is working in this field and helping our children to face the world. – Archna Gupta- wife of Mr. Gaurav Gupta, mother of Suyash Gupta
  • “It was indeed a great privilege and opportunity to acquaint myself and my ward with the entire MBCN Team at School. Whether it is Class, OTPT, and any celebration viz. Christmas Day Celebration, Sports Day, Any Events, and most importantly the Annual Day -Celebration, the MBCN team led by Dr. Vandana Sharma is Superb. I wish all the best to the entire TEAM,” – said Rajesh C Mahapatra- Father of Krishna Karthikey.
  • “Thank you to MBCN for doing noble work in nurturing our children with love and dedication. Helping them in learning, education, sports, and other fields. On the occasion of Disability Day, I want to congratulate MBCN from bottom of my heart for doing such wonderful work they are doing for the community with dedication,” – Ashutosh Dhoundiyal, Father of Nishchey Dhoundiyal.

Awards and Recognitions:

    • India’s most admired Special Need School:- MBCN has been ranked 02nd in Delhi, 01st Noida, consecutively for the past 04 years  (as India’s most admired Special Need School), in Education World Survey – 2022-2023, under Special School Category.

    • The Ponty Chadha Foundation was awarded INDIA CSR AWARD – 2022, in “Excellence in Special Education for the year 2022.

    • Best Practices In CSR Awards, 2020:- “Best Practices In CSR Awards, 2020” For The Category Of “Award For Addressing Disability” At Institute Of Public Enterprise (Hyderabad) Organized The 6th International Conference On Corporate Social Responsibility.

    • Mahatma Award for Social Goods:- The Ponty Chadha Foundation has been conferred with Mahatma Award for Social Goods, on the 150th birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi organized by Aditya Birla Group and Liveweek

    • National CSR Leadership Award 2019:- The Ponty Chadha Foundation has been presented with the prestigious 02nd National CSR Leadership Award 2019 for its excellent efforts in building an Inclusive World-organized by CMAI (Communication Multimedia and Infrastructure)

    • 7th National NGO and CSR Summit- 2019:-7th National NGO and CSR Summit- 2019, PCF has been awarded the National Award for meritorious achievement in Disability Sector.

    • MBCN was honoured with the National Award for The Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) 2018. The institution got the award under the category “Best Institution Working for Cause of Persons with Disabilities” in a function organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

    • MBCN was awarded “Rajeev Gandhi State Award” in the field of disability rehabilitation in the year 2008 at Varanasi, U.P.

    • MBCN was awarded, Derozio Award from the Governor of West Bengal His Excellency Mr. MK Narayanan in recognition of outstanding service to Education & Human Enrichment for the year 2011. The Derozio Awards for exemplary service to school education and human enrichment have been instituted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, New Delhi, to honour and motivate people to serve the nation in a manner that clearly defines leadership in an identified sphere. The ‘Derozio Awards’ are being instituted to celebrate and commemorate the life of Henry L. V. Derozio, so that his life may inspire a new generation of people to emulate his life and work, in the service of the nation.

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