Hariksha

Project Brief: Learning center for cerebrally palsied and mentally retarded children
Project Type: Disabilities (description)
Primary Focus: children with disabilities (description)

Secondary Focus: other

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Irvine
Status: completed - sustainable
Project Steward: Ramanathan Subramanian
Project Partner(s): Bhaskar Venkateswaran
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , No: 800 - C, Gokulam Nagar,Vengikkal Post,Tiruvannamalai,
TAMIL NADU  606604
Tel: +91-4175-232224
Stewarding Chapter: Irvine
Nov 2008IrvineUSD 1000

Total = $1000

Melmalayanur is a block of 55 panchayat villages in Gingee taluk of Villupuram district in TamilNadu, and borders Thiruvannamalai. Most of the people here work as agricultural laborers or coolies in construction industry in nearby big towns or some form of unskilled labor.

According to an SSA survey in 2005, there are about 100 children in the age groups of 3-16 who have cerebral palsy and other mental & developmental disabilities in this block alone. The policy adopted by the state government is to provide inclusive education to children with special needs. That is, such children are brought into regular government schools for mainstream education, and teachers in these schools are trained by special educators to handle them. The same special educators are expected to provide home-based care for children with severe disabilities. In Melmalayanur block, for example, only three SSA special educators are assigned to meet the needs of about 100 children which turns out to be far too less to provide any significant development.

This project aims at setting up a learning center in Avalurpet village to cater to children with severe disablities in and around this village. Most of these children currently don't go to any school and remain at home where the care they get is constrained by their families' economic situation and commitments. Trained special educators and caretakers will be employed in the school.
Other projects with Harishka is still ongoing. Details available at:

URL: http://www.ashanet.org/projects/project-view.php?p=973

Some of the things they propose to offer are:
- Basic ADL (Activities of Daily Living) skills
- Physical Therapy and other therapy as needed
- Personal hygiene habits (potty-training, using soap, toothpaste, etc)
- Regular medical check-ups for the children
- Medication where needed
- Ortho equipment for children who require them

They intend to use standard assessment techniques to continually monitor the children's progress and development.

Objectives of the trust:
To promote the interest and all moral welfare of the womenfolk who are socially, economically down-trodden, irrespective of caste, creed and colour through conscientisation programmes to a just society.
To study the problems of women and focus attention on them through concrete action programme and for empowerment of womenfolk.
To start self –help groups for and women and help them to help themselves.
To conduct trainings, work-shops, exposure programmes, lectures, meetings conferences and seminars on various matters of interest to the marginalized and weaker sections of the people for-refined guided action.
To organize public meetings in the rural areas on various topics like health hygiene, environment, education and human rights.
To improve vocational training to both men and women to help them to stand on their own legs.
To establish, maintain, run grant donations for and to aid and assist hospitals, dispensaries, maternity homes, physically and mentally challenged, patients suffering from leprosy blind deaf and dumb children in the way of alleviating the sufferings of humanity.
To establish, maintain, run improve, extend and to aid and assist educational institutions, I.T.Is., medical and Para-medical institutes, schools, colleges, hostels for the benefit of the students and to award scholarships for their study, research and apprenticeship for all or any of the purposes.
To conduct poor feeding, given clothing, providing shelter to the needy and afford relief services to people in distress and affected by natural calainities like earth-quakes, flood, tsunami, fire or femine.
To build erect and construct and to aid assist in building errection and constructon of homes for the homeless, poor destitutes orphan children, physically and mentally challenged children and uncared.
To enlighten the masses on environmental protection hygienc, evils of HIV/AIDS and smoking and drinking etc.
To develop programmes on agriculture organic farming animal husbandry, social education, small savings, family planning etc
To co-operate with Government and other agencies of both National and International to fight against social evils like illiteracy, child labour, bonded labour, female infanticide, deforestation.
To train the self-help groups in making soaps, papers, covers, book-binding, weaving tailoring, computer and etc.
To take up development progeammes in the field of family welfare, health, nutrition, modern organic farming, cottage industries.
To establish, maintain home for the aged and run mobile medical centres for them.
To establish, matintain and run Day care centres, eco clubs, children parliaments.
To promote and develop environmental activites such as aforestion, perma-culture, seed banks and etc,
To conduct various programmes for the development and welfare of the children.
To carry out such other objects as my be incidental to the promotion of the aforesaid objects or any other ancillary objects relating to main objects as may be considered fit by the Trustees.

Learning center for cerebrally palsied and mentally retarded children