Sonali Savkoor’s story is one of conviction, perseverance and commitment. Born in a small town in Karnataka and raised in Madhya Pradesh, Sonali grew up with a rather broad-minded view of life. Her marriage, after completing her education in Home Science, gave her further opportunities to travel to various parts of the country and widen her exposure to her culture and its people at large.
Sonali narrates a couple of incidents which she believes opened her eyes to her true calling in life. The first was when members of her society spontaneously rose as one to donate blood to save the life of her ailing husband. The fact that apparent strangers could promptly respond to help someone in need and make a difference to their lives was an eye -opener. Her husband then showed the way when he gladly took on the responsibility to support the family of a friend who experienced a personal tragedy. The fact that the family had differently-abled children did not deter him from his commitment and this gave Sonali her first opportunity to be directly involved in contributing to the welfare of others.
Realizing the need to obtain specialized training in taking care of differently-abled children to be effective, Sonali enrolled for a course in special education. Undaunted by the physical challenge of travelling long distances every day, and keeping abreast with modern technology, she found the inner strength to complete the course and fondly remembers the efforts of her 18-year-old son Sameer who pitched in to help her with understanding modern gadgets and technology! When confronted by an interview panel which cited her advanced age as an obstacle to a career in special education, she stood her ground and fought for her rights and won.
After working with a few organizations in Gurgaon, she quickly came to the conclusion that a lot more needed to be done and that too with a difference in terms of commitment and approach. Thus were born the seeds of Khushboo. Starting in 1995 with a seed capital of merely Rs. 50,000 and 3 children, the organization has grew rapidly with the support of a growing number of volunteers who were enthused by the visible difference Khushboo was making to society. Today, Khushboo provides both therapeutic facilities as well as educational/ vocational services to differently-abled children with severe impairments in their abilities. They also share their capability with society at large by running intervention programs in rural areas around Gurgaon to equip local caregivers with knowledge and information.
Over the years, Khushboo Welfare Society has gained a reputation as a pioneer in the care and development of specially-abled children in Gurgaon.