A life changing project which provides a supportive, stimulating daycare environment for 48 children with disabilities and their parents from extremely marginalised and poor people in rural West Bengal. Six days a week the project provides a range of therapies, special education and teaches parents the skills to develop and care for their children at home. In addition to therapy, children and parents get the connection and support they need to access government support they are entitled to.
Less than 1% of disabled children go to school in India, as few mainstream schools have the facilities and appropriately trained teachers to support their needs. Families from marginalised and poor communities cannot afford the medicine, physiotherapy and other therapies that children need to thrive. As a result, many disabled children are often locked away, malnourished and under-stimulated, sometimes seriously abused. Disability is generally considered 'inauspicious' and a result of bad karma
Most of the children attending our project have multiple disabilities and complex needs. Without the project, these families would need to travel long distances to access the range of medical and therapeutic facilities their child needs. For many, the financial cost alone would put specialist services beyond their reach and there are no other suitable daycare or education facilities catering for the needs of disabled children in the locality. Parents receive counselling and support.
Children are able to live enriched and healthier lives, developing to their fullest potential. Poor families are able to access government support, enabling their child to get their medical needs met. The pressure and isolation of mothers are alleviated, improving their mental health. Parents are trained on how to care for children appropriately, increasing their child's development. Our project has a waiting list of over 20 children and we urgently need more funds to expand this work.