Bala Vihar – In the service of mentally challenged persons

| | posted on:Mental Retardation

A chance to live. It is something we take for granted, but a chance that the mentally challenged are often denied.

Since 1953, we at Bala Vihar, Chennai have worked to change that reality. We offer services like Physiotherapy, Yoga therapy, as well as vocational training to help rehabilitate the mentally challenged and integrate them, as far as possible, into mainstream society.

With 2 homes and 2 day care centres at Kilpauk in Chennai and Veppampattu in Thiruvallur, 45 staff, 25 volunteers, and the support of the community, we are proud to have cared for more than 1460 mentally challenged children, and men and women.

Our Services

  • Separate residential cottages for boys and girls
  • Nutritious food
  • Clothes
  • Health care services
  • Vocational training
  • Work training
  • Computer training

Background and needs of special children at Bala Vihar

The special children who receive Bala Vihar’s services are mostly orphaned or deserted by their family members and referred to Bala Vihar by the Child Welfare Committee under the Ministry of Social Defence.

Bala Vihar – In the service of mentally challenged personsThe health and safety of these children require close attention. Most of them have a very weak immune system and require frequent hospitalisation, which needs a considerable amount  of money in terms of diagnostic tests, treatment, travel,  24-hour care by an attendant, medicines, special food and  post-treatment care.

With the support of numerous well wishers, Bala Vihar has been delivering these facilities unfailingly for more than 5 decades.


Bala Vihar’s Home at Kilpauk cares for children from 1 to 14 years.  On completion of 14 years, these special children are moved to the Adults’ Home at Veppampattu, where the following age-appropriate skills are taught:

  • Self-help
  • Communication
  • Interaction
  • Functional academics
  • Domestic chores
  • Leisure time activities
  • Community orientation
  • Vocational and work training


Area of land

30 grounds fully compounded on all four sides   Location Halls Road, Kilpauk, Chennai – 10     Buildings Separate buildings for:

  • Training school
  • Dining hall with attached kitchen
  • Vocational Training centre
  • Computer Training centre
  • Living rooms, separately for boys and girls, with fans, beds and attached toilet, bath
  • Prayer Hall
  • Separate Class room for Day Care Early Intervention Centre
  • Office Building
  • Medical Room
  • Separate Rooms for Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy & Speech Therapy

Open space

  • Stage for conducting events
  • Open play ground for sports and games


Two vans and an Auto Rickshaw to pick up and drop children for Early Intervention Day Care Centre.


Area of land

13.4 acres, fully compounded on all four sides   Location

  • Veppampattu village in Tiruvallur District, 35 kilometres from Chennai city
  • 5-minute walk from Veppampattu Railway station


  • 5 cottages (3 for women and 2 for men); ground floor + first floor; with bunker   beds, fans, attached toilet, and bath room
  • Each cottage has a common hall and a verandah
  • Each cottage also has a separate room for care givers
  • Centralised kitchen
  • Dining hall
  • Vocational training hall
  • Day Care early intervention centre classroom with therapy equipments
  • Office building with residential quarters in the first floor
  • Classroom for special education, Medical room and room for sick patients

Open space

  • Ample space for games, sports, and recreation

Other Highlights

  • Agricultural operations are carried on in about 5 acres of land inside the campus
  • Compost and organic manure produced in the campus for our own agri purposes
  • A dairy unit, with the milk being used for the residents

Security Round the clock security services   Vehicles 1 Bolero and 1 Auto Rickshaw


  • Trained caregivers to provide extensive personal assistance through day and night.
  • Special education and training through qualified Teachers, Physiotherapists, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Vocational trainers
  • Health services through in-house dispensaries, staff nurses, visiting doctors and periodical medical camps
  • Entertainment
  • Sports and games
  • Community orientation

All the above mention facilities have been made possible through Public Donations and Government Grants.


We strive to provide scientific diagnostic services to persons with mental retardation in order to determine the degree of retardation, identify developmental needs and recommend appropriate training to achieve maximum level of performance.

Studies have shown that appropriate therapy at a very early stage (up to 6 years of age) prevents further progression in mental retardation.  An inter-disciplinary team experts such as Special Educators, Speech Therapists, Physiotherapists and Psychologists impart structured age-appropriate individualized training.

Therapies are of utmost importance in the care of the mentally challenged.  Our  rehabilitation programmes revolve around various therapies, such as :

  • Physiotherapy : Improves and enhances physical abilities.
  • Occupational Therapy: Develops better co-ordination and Gait.
  • Speech therapy : Helps better articulation.
  • Yoga therapy : Diminishes behavioral problems such as hyperactivity, depression and other behavioral conditions.
  • Play therapy : Improves concentration and hand coordination and releases excess energy.
  • Vocational and work training : Promotes and develops inherent capabilities by imparting training in weaving, paper bag making, envelopes making, dairy activities, agricultural operations, nursery garden and computer operation.  Developed skills lead to gainful employment in the community as well as self-employment.


Project Officer, Bala Vihar
# 10, Halls Road,
Kilpauk, Chennai – 600 010
Tamil Nadu, India.
Tele Fax : 044-2664 4933; 2664 0913

Project Officer, Bala Vihar
Railway Station Road,
89, Veppampattu, Tiruvallur District – 602 024
Tamil Nadu, India.
Telephone: 044-2768 9343

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