Muskaan students in Delhi: The charity provides educational, vocational and employment opportunities to individuals with special needs.
On Sunday, May 20, a 5K is being held at Fairfax Corner from 8 to 11 a.m. It consists of a 5K run/walk for adults and a 1K fun run for children, starting and ending at 11895 Fairfax Commons (the PR partners location), and it promises to be a fun-filled outdoor event for the entire family.
The 1K is less than a mile long and parents can trot along with their toddlers and stay on for a free demo class for kids by Lead by Example Tae Kwon Do, and a free music class by Music Together. There will be finish line snacks, an awards ceremony, and a visit with the sponsors.
Raffle tickets for original artwork and gift baskets will also be sold. Commemorative t-shirts will be given out on a first- come first- served basis, along with the race registration packet.
The walk is being sponsored by Muskaan, a US based 501(3) (c) charity that supports the mission of its parent organization of the same name in New Delhi, India. This charity works to provide educational, vocational and employment opportunities to individuals with special needs, and has won several awards from the Government of India for its contributions.
People with intellectual disabilities in Delhi have very few resources available to them and charities like Muskaan are an oasis, providing the material and emotional support they need to become happy, productive members of society. Muskaan doesn’t turn away anyone who applies for help, regardless of ability to pay, and it’s been so overwhelmed with appeals for assistance that a new center is being opened in East Delhi, for which funds are needed.
This organization was started 1982 by Dr. Shanti Auluck, as a grassroots, parent driven effort to address a severe lack of facilities that provided an appropriate education for children with special needs. Dr. Shanti Dr. Auluck’s niece, Poonam Auluck, a resident of Fairfax, heads the US branch of the charity.
“I grew up alongside Muskaan,” Poonam says. “I would hear about it at home, as my parents and family friends were heavily involved in it. I spent several summers volunteering at the Muskaan center in India, and saw firsthand how it transformed the lives of children and adults and their families. Training and employment gives these wonderful, affectionate students a sense of self worth, and there is a palpable sense of hope for their struggling families through Muskaan.”
To register for the walk online, please go to https://bit.ly/simplejoys5k
Walk in registration on the day of the walk will also be accepted.