The cemented slope leads us to the 1st floor, the entrance to the Spastic Society of Gurgaon (SSOG). The welcome is special. As we enter the common room of the building, a 23-year-old patient—‘mentally deranged’—walks briskly towards me and touches my feet. As I shift back, apprehensive about the gesture, the in-charge informs me that he does this with every guest. “He likes to do it to everyone; even if you stop him, he still will”. He has a smiling face, and is enthusiastic to share his story with me. “Hello. Mera naam Saurabh hai, mere mummy papa teacher hain, hum Chattarpur mein rehte hain. Pehle main DAV School Sector 10 mein padhta tha, ab main yahan (Spastic Society of Gurgaon) padhta hoon. Main medicines leta hoon – hyperness kam karne ke liye,” says Saurabh Grover.
Saurabh, 23 years of age, is suffering from Mental Derangement. We are informed that Saurabh was being treated in a well-known city hospital; but the medication had an adverse effect on him, making him extremely hyper, angry, short-tempered, abusive and destructive. As a result, he was made to leave school, and had to be shut in a room. His family contacted Spastic Society of Gurgaon for his treatment and development. Saurabh is now being treated by Dr. Sumeeta Grover, through Homoeopathy – and is responding well to the medication, and is well settled in the environment. As I hear Saurabh’s story, while he stands smiling in front of me—calm and collected—it is hard to believe what he has gone through. He willing poses for a photograph, and also supervises other Mentally Deranged and Spastic kids – who sit there struggling with their drawing material.
This is just one case. Spastic Society of Gurgaon has 240 registered children, being treated for Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, and other kinds of mental and physical disability. About 20 to 40 patients—between the age groups of 1 to 35 years—visit the premises in Sector 4 on a daily basis. The timings are 9 am to 12pm, and 4pm to 6pm. They utilise the rehabilitation services – like Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Special Education, vocational training, medical and surgical aid, Orthoses prescription; and arrangement of various services for special children – all free of cost.
“Spasticity is when muscles become tight, and the movement becomes limited – and the patient has no control over it. The only effective medicine for Spasticity is Physiotherapy, and the cure depends on the level of Spasticity of the patient. There are other treatments, like Stem Cell Therapy, that have now come out; but it is an expensive and a long term process. The patients find difficulty in speaking, and need Speech Therapy; and due to their physical limitations they don’t go to school, and so need special education,” explains Dr. Sumeeta Grover, Homoeopath at the SSOG.
The Spastic Society of Gurgaon (SSOG) started almost 4 years ago, is the first and only organisation awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certificate. The Society also works with the Government of Haryana, and is also serving as Local Level Committee Member for Gurgaon on behalf of the National Trust, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. SSOG has issued, till date, 922 Nirmaya Cards – the beneficiaries of which get Rs. 1 lakh per annum for Hospitalisation, and Rs. 10,000 per annum for OPD services.
SSOG was started by Dr. Rajesh Bhola four years ago, along with the Civil Hospital of Gurgaon. “The Spastic Society of Gurgaon was an initiation of Dr. Bhola, and we started by helping disabled patients in the Civil Hospital; and holding camps for Spastic Patients. The Government noticed our efforts and provided us with the space in Sector 4 for running the Society” says Dr. Grover.
Dr. Rajesh Bhola Dr. Sumeeta Grover
The Society operates as a Centre for Special Children, and a Centre for Physiotherapy for all. On our visit to the NGO, we noticed Spastic children playing with toys, board games, colouring books and reading material. The Spastic Centre in the premises had beds, exercise balls, chains and hand grips, for exercises and Physiotherapy. The other section of the premises was dedicated to Physiotherapy for all. That room consisted of traction equipment, wax used for joint pains, Inter Ferential Therapy (IFT), Tense for Nerve Stimulation, exercise equipment like the wheel and pulley, and modern equipments and machines obtained from highly qualified Physiotherapists at a nominal fee of Rs. 20 per use, an amount that is approved by the Health Secretary of Haryana. The money collected is used for the maintenance and cleanliness of the Centre.
The SSOG has a special panel of Doctors that provide services of Orthopaedics, Physiotherapy, Eye Specialisation, Paediatrics and Homeopathy to the patients. “Homoeopathy acts deeper, and without side effects, unlike other forms of medication. Spastic patients are simple minds, with no tensions – so homeopathy works well and faster on them. But it has to be accompanied by Physiotherapy,” says Dr. Grover.
“We have seen great improvement in our patients. Because of stiffness the therapy hurts initially, but after regular therapy the limbs lighten up, and enable movement of the muscle. The parents also accompany them, and we counsel them, because the exercises need to be performed at home as well. We even have parents asking us to open on Sundays. The patients as well as the kids like a change of atmosphere, and the companionship of other children” says Dr. Neetu Dhiman, MPT, Physiotherapy, SSOG.
“We have come into this world for a purpose. God has given us good health, and we must help those who are less advantaged, and are, in a way, the special children of God. This is the basic idea behind our society. Even if we you are able to make a difference in one patients’ life, you will have done your part,” concludes Dr. Grover.