This is a unique advocacy program aimed at starting a transformation in the way that Indian society considers and responds to 'special' children and their families who are most often misunderstood, discriminated against and judged. Sri Arunodayam will award 15 incredible mothers at a ceremony on Mother's Day where they will receive a certificate of excellence and a trophy, a cash award of INR 15,000/- each, a special gift hamper, and a lifetime pass to free support services from Sri Arunodayam.
In India, there is a lot of stigma attached to intellectual disability. Families with special children are often judged and ostracised. To start any transformation in society, we must start at the level of the family, and since women and children are most often the target of abuse, we want to recognise women whose progressive abilities have made a significant impact on the lives of their 'special' children, and who demonstrate an ability to be positive role models in society.
Ours is a small but potentially powerful type of advocacy where we recognise and honor 15 mothers of special children each year. The finalists are given cash awards and inducted into our Special Mom Forum where they are trained by leading professionals in the field of disability. The sessions are tailored to cover issues faced by families with 'special' children.
Each year we directly impact the lives of 15 families. While the mothers are very grateful for the monetary assistance, they say that they are more honored by our public recognition of the role they play in their homes and in society. Some of them say that this award has actually helped them appreciate their own worth! (https://sriarunodayam.org/testimonials/). In 5 years we would directly impact 75 families and in 10 years, 150 families - i.e. around 600 people.