A life-changing project which provides a supportive, stimulating daycare environment for 80 children with disabilities and their parents from marginalized communities in rural West Bengal. The project provides a range of therapies and specialized education in a joyful and inclusive environment. It also provides parents with the resources they need to care for their children at home and access the government support they are entitled to.
Less than 1% of children with disabilities go to school in India. Few mainstream schools have the facilities and appropriately trained teachers to support their needs. Families from marginalized and poor communities cannot afford the medicine, physiotherapy and other resources that children need to thrive. As a result, children with disabilities are often locked away, malnourished and under-stimulated, sometimes even seriously abused.
Most of the children attending our project have multiple disabilities and complex needs. Without the project, these families have to travel long distances to access the range of medical and therapeutic facilities we provide. 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 their needs in the locality. Parents also 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 families is alleviated, improving their mental health. Parents are trained on how to care for children appropriately, increasing their child's development. Our project has a large waiting list and we urgently need more funds to expand this work.