Typically, when you visit DNC (Disabled Newline Centre) in Kathmandu you are greeting by boisterous shouts and hugs from many children. One young person waits patiently, quietly in the wings, waits to be chatted with, waits with a smile on his face, waits for a hug. That would be Naina.
Naina was born in far western Nepal with twisted legs and he had a terrible life in his village, with no opportunity for education. He could not walk at that time and spent his days laying in bed in a darkened room. He was brought to DNC in 2005 at the age of 6. TRIFC provided orthopedic surgery to help improve his leg function and he walks unassisted now.
Naina is kind, thoughtful and articulate. His English skills are excellent. He loves to sit and chat with visitors, but never imposes himself on anyone. He enjoys one-to-one time with visitors but I’m often afraid that many miss out on meeting and chatting with him because he easily blends into the ‘woodwork’ and doesn’t jump out at you like the other kids do (literally, they jump!). We spent some nice time together on my recent visit, reading a story. He also quickly helped me prepare some balled-up newspaper for our sweeping-skills strategy, blind/visually-impaired training. He is a hidden gem who truly shines when given the opportunity and a few minutes of your time.