Padma H. Reichwald

The year was 1979; I was listening to a Hindi music program on WKCR (Columbia University Station). Suddenly I heard an announcement for a dance Program at Manhattan School of Music to raise funds for Heart and Hand for the Handicapped (HHH). This announcement went on to say that the funds raised at this event will go towards helping handicapped children all over India to realize a life of self-reliance and dignity. Being a Desi disabled woman, I immediately connected with this message. I realized that this was my calling to give back to my disabled brethren, who are left in solitude, neglected and forgotten. How lonely that must feel! So I joined HHH as an executive committee member in 1980.

Few years later in 1985, I left HHH. Although I was not an active member for these years but my heart was always with HHH.I came back in 1999 and decided to launch Polio Initiative as one of the fundraising project to support other victims of polio like myself.

In 2003 I met Maya and the following year Anil Dadheech, both Desi & disabled. To my amazement I realized that in all these years, HHH had only one disabled member and that was me. Now there were 3 of us who were actively engaged in HHH's mission to support other “Differently Abled” children like ourselves. It is my hope that our involvement and presence in HHH will help non-disabled members understand that our mission is the same as theirs! We are No Different! We don’t always have to be taken care of. We can also support others like us.

Its 2022, as I reflect on the years gone by, I ask myself, why after 40 plus years am I still here!

The answer is very simple. To know that you have played a tiny role in supporting a handicapped child To realize his/her dream. To help them walk! To help them build a world of their own making! To bring a smile on their faces! Trust me, that smile on a child’s face is “priceless”. As long I have breathe and strength left in me, I will continue on this journey with “HHH” …….! Rest is in God’s Hands!

Maya Ramchandani

Being a paraplegic from birth, I have spent major part of my formative years with others like myself in various institutions in India and in New York. I know what it feels like to be wheelchair bound!

As a teenager in India, it was always my strong desire to help others like myself. However, I was never able to make that connection until one day in 2002, I saw Padma on ITV talking about her disability and her work with HHH. I immediately connected with Padma and said to myself that I finally found an organization which will fulfill my dream.

Anil Dadheech

The zeal of making a difference in someone’s life was the only reason I joined HHH. That someone may never have taken a step forward on his/her own. I am fortunate enough that I can walk. With the same fortune in my pocket, I was passing by several stalls in a “mela” at Bridgewater Temple. A quite stall caught my attention. I went over and had my first introduction to HHH. It was quite amazing to see a group of people working hard to make a difference in someone’s life that they did not even know. And that was it for me! Later, as I came out of that stall, I wondered why people in that “mela” did not find time to visit HHH’s stall. I thought nobody cared to help kids who needed a helping hand. May be the name “Heart and Hand for the Handicapped” gave them a wrong impression and thought it was only for handicapped people. I wanted to tell them that you do not have to be handicapped to be part of HHH. HHH is for everyone who wants to help a child take a step on his/her own. Later, I met Padma and I told myself, when she Can do it I can definitely do it. Padma has been my inspiration since then.


Help a child today and change their life

Help a child tomorrow and change their future

Help a child always and change their world

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