It is estimated that at least 3% of the world’s population are specially challenged children. This could be various types of disabilities ranging from single disability to multiple disabilities. India has a large undetermined population of persons with disabilities. These special children often found themselves in this state owing to a lack of awareness, to recognize early symptoms of disabilities, even by their parents.
7 years back in the Southern Indian City of Coimbatore, a concerned couple with some social workers came together and formed COIMBATORE SPASTIC TRUST – a voluntary, non-government, non-profit organization, under the guidance of Ms. Prema Joseph, to fill the void of a special school for children with Cerebral Palsy in Coimbatore. A humble beging catering to 7 children to start with in a rented hall.
Today, ASHIRWAAD caters to 60 children in its day care centre, 7 – 10 home management children at any given point of time,trainees and volunteers. ASHIRWAAD has more children to reach and help but lack of funds the main issue. ASHIRWAAD has grown from a mere rehabilitation service provider – to an organizataion advocating the rights of persons with disability, training parents with modules to special education, community based rehabilitation, conducting awareness programs in schools and colleges, networking with other NGO’s to integrate special children, both normal and with children from various streams of disability.
Home Management is another activity that ASHIRWAAD does, children with disability from the nearby towns and villages are inducted into our home management program.The children are assessed and their rehabilitation program is taught to the parents and Program material given to the parents in writing for us to evaluate the same during their subsequent visit with the child.
We saw that most of our children are from a very poor background and did not even have a balanced diet. Sometimes they don’t even have enough strength to go through with physiotherapy and other activities. Hence we started the balanced diet project for our school children, which consists of 80 % poor children.
Counseling the parents
Parent counseling is another important and pain staking project as most of the parents are illiterates and believe that these children are cause of bad omen and they need to be dumped. Our job is to counsel them, explain the medical reasons as to why they are born special and teach them the way in which to cope with these children. Some times parent rehabilitation is a major project. Helping them with their drinking habits, finding them jobs and family counseling is one of the projects.
Training of Students from various Institutions
We train M.S.W, B,S.W., Physiotherapy,Occupational therapy and Special Deucation students from various colleges who are being sent to us for hands on training at the center. Every year there are about 50 – 60 students who get the training from our institution.
We go to Educational Institutions, Clubs like Rotary, Round Table,Lions and Ladies circles to conduct Awareness programes.
The trust is also in the process of building a residential center for the special children. Most of these children need long term rehabilitation and hence the residential center. The first phase of this project plans to accommodate 50 children and they will be given all therapies, nursing and medical care as and when required, vocational training and special education.
# 3, Srikanth nagar,
Tamilnadu, India – 641034.
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