There's no doubt about the mother's role in the life of her child - more especially if it is a 'special' child. In our society, however, mothers of 'special' children are often misunderstood and judged. Some are even ostracized from their communities! But to us, these women are unsung heroes and we want to give them the honor they deserve. For not abandoning their children and displaying incredible courage, Sri Arunodayam is honoring 15 deserving "Special Moms", in our 15th year of service.
When Sri Arunodayam spoke to mothers of special children we found most of them to be exhausted, frustrated or depressed. Working mothers have a hard time coping with the constant crisis that is an inevitable part of taking care of their special children. In India, it is not uncommon for economically disadvantaged parents to abandon their special children. Female infanticide is also a common practice and those that have their babies tend to abandon them if they are detected with disabilities.
Given our culture and practices, we believe that the time has come to start radical social change in India. We want to be a channel that (1) helps spread awareness on special children and the difficulties faced by their families, (2) provide a networking platform for moms of special children and empower them to be heard (3) provide recognition for deserving mothers who have not abandoned their children but are tirelessly working to educate and build up their children's lives day-by-day.
Sri Arunodayam has accumulated extensive research and experience in the field of mental retardation (MR). Advocacy through such programs will have a direct effect on several groups: MR children and their parents as chief beneficiaries; Siblings (educate and catch them young!); Educators & Education Authorities; Governments and the concerned local governing bodies; Medical and research environments; Lawmakers, judicial & redressal systems; Law & order enforcement; Other organizations like us.