This is a farewell letter written to the Management of Pathways by Ms Anupama Diddee, HOD, Additional Learning Support Department. She has been at Pathways for more than 10 years. We wish her all the best for her future endeavours.
Dear Mr Jain,
With a very heavy heart I write this final goodbye mail to you. Time takes on different dimensions through the life span of an individual. As I look back at the 10 years gone by, it seems like a lifetime that I have spent here at Pathways!
As the youngest HoD at that time, I started my tenure with a vision to set up a system of support that was one of the strongest and best suited for children with disabilities. Everyone has a story that inspires them and mine was that of a woman who is found throwing starfish back into the ocean. When asked if she would be able to accomplish the task as there were thousands of them spread across several miles of the ocean, she picks up one, throws it back and says, “I can make a difference to at least this one!” Pathways gave me the opportunity to make a difference to many such lives and I will always be indebted to you for the freedom, flexibility, support, encouragement and recognition that I have received at every step. During the last 10 years I have been to many conferences and workshops where I have praised the involvement and encouragement of the school management in including children with disabilities in every sphere of school life. It is a place where all children, irrespective of their differences, are welcomed, accepted, appreciated and celebrated! This is the reason why Pathways will always be known as a school with a heart! However, the appreciation and gratitude that I have been able to voice over the years are a very small fraction of what I have received.
As I leave today, I go back very enriched in every aspect of my personality, experiences and learning. But more than that I go back having accumulated blessings to last me a lifetime! Pathways gave me the opportunity to make everlasting bonds with my students and their parents. We have collectively undertaken the journey with every child. I am sure we will keep creating more success stories to inspire Special Educators across the country! I am very happy to see how far the Department has come and how strong the ALS Team has emerged. It is a group of passionate individuals solely driven by their love for their children. Together we have been able to create a system that is a pioneer of inclusive education in India. I am always proud to say that no one does it as well as we do!
On a personal front, my family joins me in conveying their gratitude to the entire Pathways community for being our extended family. My daughter Diya has grown up on this campus and Pathways will always be a part of our childhood memories of her. I will always be grateful to her teachers, who not only carried her in their hearts, but also honed her individuality and helped her become the person she is today!
It was a cold, dark December evening in 2006, when I walked into this campus and met Dr Kiran Datar, Mr Praveen Jain and Mrs Prabhu. Little did I know that it was going to be a life changing event for me and what lay in store were numerous challenges, goals, planning, teamwork, achievements, celebrations…which would make it one of the most satisfying phases of my life! The campus also gave me some wonderful, long lasting friendships and is the best example of community living! If you remember my last conversation with you, I had requested you to create tags which read ‘Always a Pathwazian’… as I am never going to wear the ‘Visitor’ tag as I go around this campus on my next visit! J Pathways is and will always be home for me!!
Here is wishing lots of happiness, contentment and success to you and your entire family! I will be very happy to see the Pathways flag reach greater heights in times to come! I would be very happy to stay connected and make whatever contributions that I can in the future too! Thank you very much for everything!