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Support excluded kids with disabilities in India

by Karuna Trust
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Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India
Support excluded kids with disabilities in India

When you made that heartfelt decision to get behind a project giving daycare access to children with disabilities in rural West Bengal, what inspired you?  

Perhaps it was the simple belief that no one should be excluded from society. If so, you share the same belief of the remarkable women at Nishtha, our project partner, who dreamed this project and made it happen back in 2015.  

But how did it happen? Nishtha was already well established. In fact, it had been instrumental in giving thousands of girls from rural villages the opportunity to complete their education. Their work was groundbreaking, changing societal beliefs. In the rural villages, many girls were withdrawn from school at a young age. 

This time, the women of Nishtha identified a new need, children with disabilities. In the rural villages they identifiedhuge levels of discrimination, sometimes even within their own families. Children with disabilities were often malnourished, considered a burden, shunned and hidden away. 

The need for the project coincided with a legacy donation through Karuna. This was how the project got off the ground in 2015. We started with 25 children and now thanks to your ongoing support, 80 children now benefit from the daycare centre.  

This project has simple aims to provide free holistic support and encouragement for children with disabilities and their families. 

9 year old Jiniya has been attending the centre for over 3 years now. Her cerebral pawsy affects her muscles which need strengthening through physiotherapy. The physio also helps with her balance and awareness of space. 

When Jiniya first attended she was unable to sit up without someone supporting her. Now she can sit independently. Jiniya is also receiving speech therapy and here too has made significant improvements. 

Thanks to all your continued support you are keeping this much needed project alive and giving transformative therapies to Jiniya and many other children with disabilities. 

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In South Asia, children with disabilities and their families face unique challenges. At Karuna, our mission is to create an equal society that embraces the diverse abilities of every child. We wanted to share a report that sheds light on the profound impact our project has had on the lives of children with disabilities, particularly during the challenges of the global pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented changes to the lives of children with disabilities and their families. Prior to the outbreak, these children attended school, received medical appointments and participated in rehabilitation sessions tailored to their individual needs. However, the lockdown disrupted their routines and access to vital services, posing significant challenges to their health and well-being.

Through a comprehensive survey conducted with parents of children with physical disabilities, we aimed to understand the potential long-term effects of the lockdown and identify their specific needs after the lockdowns. Our study focused on healthcare issues, including the child's morale, behaviour, social interaction, physical activity and the continuity of rehabilitation and medical care. We also acknowledged the additional stress faced by caregivers and the importance of homecare interventions for these children.

Key Findings:

  1. Impact on Children's Well-being: The lockdown had a profound effect on the health and well-being of children with disabilities. They experienced challenges in social interaction, access to recreational activities and the development of essential social skills.
  2. Disruption of Rehabilitation and Medical Care: The sudden lockdown made it challenging for caregivers to provide homecare therapies, which play a vital role in the rehabilitation process. Despite these obstacles, caregivers made efforts to adapt and learn the necessary techniques to support their child's functional outcomes. Bhalobasha staff provided home visits in some circumstances.
  3. Community Sensitisation: We prioritised sensitising the community and stakeholders about the unique needs of children with disabilities. By fostering collaboration with government hospitals and institutes specialising in disabilities, we ensured that children continued to receive necessary healthcare services. This is part of the ongoing effort to raise awareness in their local communities and the importance of supporting children with disabilities.

Through this project in partnership with Nishtha, we strive to create an inclusive environment for all children, supporting them to make friends and receive the care required for physical and mental health. By identifying their needs, offering tailored therapy and promoting community awareness, we are making significant steps towards encouraging inclusion and enhancing the lives of these children.

During our Christmas campaign, we focused on this incredible project and successfully met our target of £100,000! This will enable us to extend our efforts to meet more children and their families.

Your support can help us continue our efforts in transforming lives. Together, we can ensure that every child can reach their full potential.


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Joshil lives in a rural village in India. He has cerebral palsy and severe learning difficulties. His parents both work hard to earn enough income to support their family, however, his father works as a daily labourer and his mother works as a maid- both incomes are just enough to get by. In the past this has meant they have struggled to afford the therapy that Joshil needs and his condition has deteriorated, leaving him unable to sit up, walk or recognise his parents.

This is a very distressing situation for Joshil and his family and for so many others in India. Often children with disabilities and their families are completely excluded from society due to widespread stigma. Projects like ours are a needed support system for families like Joshil’s.

When they came across our project, they couldn’t believe that they could access physical therapy, counselling, daily support and peer networks in one place. Best of all, Joshil has made friends and is no longer isolated.

He can now walk with a support aid and can recognise his parents, due to the incredible efforts of the practitioners at the centre - and of course his determination!

This is a greatly needed project in the local area, with a large waitlist. Your support means more children like Joshil can access the support they need and can thrive in a caring and joyful environment, no longer excluded.


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Hritik, 4, has cerebral palsy. Even though his parents work hard to support him and his 6 siblings,with a combined income thatequates to less than 35 cents a day,they struggle to make ends meet.  

As his parent’s work takes them out of the home,Hritik’s brothers and sisterstry to care for him the best they can. Yet without access to resources or information to support them, they are not able to deliver what he needs. He spends his entire day indoors in a single room, is unable to sit up by himselfand does not know his own name. 

In rural areas of India especially, situations like this are common. Due to high levels of poverty and a lack of support, families aren’t equipped to support children with disabilities. Their conditionsoften worsen over time,increasing the financial and emotional pressure on both the family and child. 

Fortunately, Hritik’s family was able to contact our project through an awareness camp. These camps tour rural areas raising awareness of available resources to support struggling families. 

After an initial assessment, the team were able to give Hritik a diagnosis for the first time and deliver a treatment plan. This includedadmitting him into Bhalobasha, our centre for children with disabilities that provides education, activities and physical therapy to children like Hritik 

Now, Hritik can sit upright without support and even responds to his name. His parents are delighted at how much he has developed. And, as Bhalobashais completely free, they can work and still be confident that Hritik is receiving the best possible care.  

Hritik’s mother says:There was a time when my son used to sleep the entire day in one room. Being poverty-stricken, I couldn’t provide the necessary treatment for my son but now I can provide it free of cost. My son is now able to sit, and I can carry out my work while keeping my son at home, which earlier felt impossible. I am highly grateful to the Karuna Trust’. 

Thank you for support children like Hritik. 


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A chance meeting on a train and a family’s life has been completely changed… They are now liberated from huge medical costs and can now save up for their future 

You might ask: how did this happen? 

It’s all thanks to our Bhalobasha centre for children with disabilities and the incredible work they do.  

Navneeta,12-year-old boy,was experiencing severe mobility issues - he couldn’t walk and could barely crawl. Despite his parents being on a low wage, they searched for treatment, travelling all over to find the appropriate supportHowever, they were met with high costs that they couldn’t possibly sustain.  

After connecting with someone on the train who happened to be working on our project, they came to Bhalobasha 

With the help of medical professionals, Navneeta can now walk unaided and is making friends with many of the other children who attend! His parents are so relieved.  

Navneeta’s mother says:My son was not able to walk earlier, and I was tremendously worried. But here my son is getting all the facilities that are important for his physical development. Now my son can walk. The Karuna Trust has kindled hope in me, and I am extremely grateful to them’. 

 Navneeta is now in mainstream school and his parents are very hopeful for what his future will bring. 

Thanks to your support more children with disabilities can receive the care they need and become part of a loving community. 


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Organization Information

Karuna Trust

Location: London, England - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @karuna_trust_uk
Project Leader:
Akashamitra Turnbull
London , England United Kingdom
$21,049 raised of $30,000 goal
142 donations
$8,951 to go
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