Defying Disability – Overcoming Obstacles

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If you’re reading this and are not disabled then you are among the fortunate majority of Indian population that does not have to live with a disability and has access to education and employment as a basic right.The other 3.8% of Indian population, unfortunately, has some or the other form of physical disability which deprives them from having access to equal opportunities towards education and employment in our system and society.

Recently I got injured and had to wear a cast in one leg for about 15 days. Life with only one fully functional limb was a revelation to me. I could appreciate the hundreds of obstacles that a differently-abled person must face in their daily life. Be it crossing streets or walking on roads riddled with potholes or going up a few flights of stairs – it opened my eyes to the plight of millions of persons with disabilities who are bravely battling it out and still holding their head high with or without support and guidance from us.


Fortunately there are people and organizations that are working selflessly and tirelessly, to uplift and empower these specially abled brave-hearts.


Shishu Sarothi  is one such non -profit organization that has been working with a proven track record in the area of early intervention and rehabilitation, education, arranging livelihoods, providing advocacy and legal aid and creating awareness for children and persons with disabilities in North East India since 1987 .
They have been working towards creating an inclusive world where children and persons with disabilities have equal opportunities and are empowered to participate freely and live fully with dignity and respect.

How does Shishu Sarothi empower the Disabled?

Shishu Sarothi has 13 dedicated units that cater to specific needs of the person enrolled with them including – 
1. The Early Intervention Unit – This unit offers services for early detection, screening and management of high risk babies and infants for diseases that can cause disabilities.
2. The Centre for Inclusive and Vocational Education (CIVE) – This unit is run like a regular school with the big difference being in chalking up Individualized Educational Programs for each child. The parents are closely involved throughout the training program. Multi-sensory and low cost teaching learning materials are designed and provided for more effective teaching and learning experiences.
3.The Information and Communication Technology Laboratory (I.C.T.L.) – This unit is responsible for  imparting comprehensive computer aided training programs for the children and  make them proficient in basic applications and to build their computer skills. 
4. The Training and Human Resource Development Division -This unit runs government approved training programs with the aim of creating a cadre of trained rehabilitation professionals.

5.The counselling unit – The Unit assists parents in understanding the special needs of their child by assessing psycho social aspects related to disability, and to cope and manage the situation. 
6. The Disability law Unit (North East) – The DLU offers help in litigation, conducts sensitization programs for all tiers of the public and advocates policy changes in favor of the disabled.
7. Disability Employment Unit – It empowers the disabled by facilitating access to employment opportunities both in the public and private sector. 

SUCCESS STORIES –                             

Rida Arman Hazarika , a child who was diagnosed with Delayed Developmental milestones , though she was physically independent, she had a habit of pinching herself and being very aggressive at times. She was also socially shy and lacked self-confidence and did not get well with others .Her parents were worried as they wanted her to have a regular schooling.
After regular counselling and Behavior modification sessions,along with I.C.T. lab training to boost her confidence and skills,  Rida has made significant improvement , her self-confidence has upped and she has been able to make friends and socialize, her aggressiveness has reduced and she now helps her mother at home. Not only this but most importantly Rida cleared her 10th standard exam from National Institute of Open Learning (N.I.O.S.) scoring 75% and is now pursuing her 11th Std from N.I.O.S.


Debotri Dutta – This young girl was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegic CP .C.P. is a condition that affects the movements, coordination, mental development and even vision, speech and skeletal system of the person affected.She could neither walk properly nor speak properly when she was brought to Shishu Sarothi. Her parents were clueless about how to deal with her.

She has been undergoing sessions at ther Functional Unit where she is being imparted pre-vocational training and the ICT for computer skills .Her parents were regularly counselled and the parents are now supportive of her.Debotri can now do basic calculations and write her and her parents’ names, she has learned the skill of block printing and beading as part of vocational training to lead an independent life .Her parents are now hopeful of a better future for Debotri .
Rida Hazarika, Debotri Dutta , Tamanna Mahanta ,Pooja Das are just a few success stories of children whose lives have taken a turn for the better and who are finding their foothold in this competitive world through Sishu Sirohi. 
Timely diagnosis, intervention, counselling and vocational training and legal help are the keywords when it comes to taking care of a disabled child.
Most importantly funding,resources and encouragement from the government are intrinsic if we want more Tamannas and Ridas to come out of the shadows, spread their wings and soar.
To know more about Sishu Sirohi , their accreditation and the facilities offered , visit their website – http://www.shishusarothi.org/
To become actively involved in enabling a secure future for these special children, you can make contributions HERE 
To become a volunteer, enroll HERE
 Let us help spread smiles and build better futures for our children even if they were not born equal.

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