The Lotus Flower Only Blooms in the Mud…
Eastern culture often notes that the lotus flower, rooted in muddy ponds, flowers on top of the water, above the muck and slime. Similarly, ESCIP encourages people to break through the mud of spinal cord injuries to live for all to see like fragrant, beautiful lotus blossoms.
19 December 2012
One family’s tragedy has become a lifeline of transformation for people in South Asia suffering from spinal cord injuries. The goal of this new Millennium partner, ESCIP (Empowering Spinal Cord Injured Persons), is to spread the vision of independence and empowerment to quadriplegics and paraplegics, and to promote support structures that will allow them to realize their potential.
The founding members of ESCIP became intimately familiar with the needs of those suffering from spinal cord injuries when, then, 19 year old Jonathan had a biking accident in India. Despite receiving care immediately after the accident, he was left a quadriplegic.
Crushed, but not destroyed.
As Jonathan began the road to recovery he soon realized that he could use his life to bring hope to others similarly crushed by these debilitating injuries, and ESCIP was born. Read more of Jonathan’s story and the stories of others, or watch the acclaimed short film: More Than Walking at www.ESCIP.org
When Jonathan, a 19-year-old American student, falls from a 70 ft. cliff in Northern India and wakes up in a nearby hospital, he is told he may never walk again. As a C5-C6 quadriplegic, Jonathan has limited upper-body strength and no sensation or movement in his hands or below his arms. He shares the same spinal cord injury as four Indian friends: Krishnan, 46, a resident at the military rehab center in Pune; Navin, 38, who is living independently and starting a school for street children in Delhi; Riya, 14, who was following instructions when her coach told her to dive into the unmarked shallow end of the pool; Rahul, 23, was defending his uncle from a drunk neighbor when the man’s shoulder fell upon his neck. Where are the resources that will empower them? Who can best help them find their lives again? Can a gift really come from your worst nightmare?
Confined in body, but not in spirit.
In India there are 1.5 million spinal-cord injured persons. Most of them are young adults who go from being financial supporters to financial dependents of their families. Many quadriplegics and paraplegics are confined to bed or unable to leave their home. They endure social stigma, and have little hope of finishing school or finding productive work.
A spinal-cord injury is no longer a death sentence, but often it is a prison sentence. ESCIP is working to change this.
ESCIP is seeking to build networks for the support, mentoring and independent living of spinal cord injured persons through:
- A community of local and international volunteers and SCI peer mentors who offer encouragement to those struggling through the rehabilitation process.
- Identifying volunteer coordinators in the areas of major treatment centers in India. (Coordinators are already in place in Delhi.)
- Assisting Coordinators in arranging for local peer mentors for SCIs and encourage positive attitudes in families and communities toward the vocational and educational pursuits of SCIs.
- Design and construction of a transitional residential facility for new outpatients, to be known as the ESCIP House, which will provide a permanent model of community re-integration.
- Training and mentoring by SCI tenants, who have independent lives, for those transitioning from hospital to home.
You can do something. You can be a part of this vital work in India.
The needs are great, but they are not beyond reach. Your gift will go a long way to help with wheelchairs, therapy and other necessary essentials for rehabilitation. Donate online now, use account code: ESCIP.002
More information on the various projects and the people who's lives are being transformed can be found on the ESCIP website.