Project Brief: ASTITVA is a school for mentally sub-normal, deaf and mute children. It helps to provide education and rehabilitation for the children through workshops and classes.
Project Type: Children with Disabilities (description)
Primary Focus: children with disabilities (description)

Secondary Focus: other

Area: Urban
Supporting Chapter Contact: Delaware
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Sowmya Subramanian
Project Partner(s):
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , State Bank Road,,,Dombivili-East,
Stewarding Chapter: Delaware
Dec 2001DelawareUSD 4000

Total = $4000

ASTITVA is a school for mentally sub-normal, deaf and mute children. It helps to provide education and rehabilitation for the children through workshops and classes.
The purpose of this project was to build an audition room for the hearing impaired. It was a one time need and the project was an Asha stars project. The audition room has been built and is being used to treat the deaf and mute children

From a small beginning with 22 students and a makeshift classroom ASTITVA has come a long way since its inception in 1981. Over the past two decades it has built a vibrant institution dedicated to education, training and rehabilitation of the mentally retarded and deaf and mute children. Today it has a building of its own with 25500 sq. ft. of built up space equipped with the necessary amenities under one root and a family size of over 400.

The institution is located at Dombivli, on the outskirts of Mumbai in Thane district of Maharashtra. Four core activities form the current focus the institute.

School for the Mentally Retarded with student’s strength of 135.
“Mook Badhir Prabodhini” that runs a school for the deaf and mute with 75 students.
“Sheltered Workshop” to train the adult handicapped in vocational trades. A number of products of household consumption are made in this workshop. Presently 95 handicapped adults are engaged in the workshop.
Hostel to care for the mentally retarded persons. Currently the hostels look after 65 inmates.
Brief History

During the early 1980s, the Thane region of Maharashtra , though industrially advanced, lacked facilities for the training of handicapped children. A group of socially committed individuals came forward to fill this void by starting ASTITVA.

Considering the scale and magnitude of the undertaking, it was decided to execute the task in phases starting with the school for the mentally retarded. ASTITVA in Sanskrit means existence and the name of the institute reflects the belief that the society needs to recognize the existence of the mentally retarded persons and other subnormal.

¨ A plot of land measuring 2000 sq. metres was bought for Rs. 1.40 lac in April 1982.

¨ In October 1982, the wing for the deaf and mute started functioning.

¨ The first phase of construction was completed in June 1984.

¨ The sheltered workshop was started in June 1989.

¨ A hostel (separately for the boys and girls ) was started in January 1992 with 14 inmates.

¨ Construction of the complex was completed in March 1996 with a floor space of 25500 sq. feet, well furnished and sufficiently equipped with the aids as required for different categories of handicapped.

Schools for the mentally retarded

Education and training of the mentally retarded includes teaching self-dependence, gaining control over natural body rhythms, keeping the body clean, bathing, cleaning teeth and dressing one-self. Their I.Q. being very low, usually between20-70, even this basic training poses special challenge. The education and training of these children differs a lot from that of normal children, often requiring person specific programmes.

Currently, we have 135 mentally retarded children in the age group 4- 18 years. They are grouped in 12 divisions under the charge of 15 teachers assisted by 7 non-teaching staff. Students are classified according to the nature of their mental retardation (mild/moderate/severe) and also on the basis of the progress achieved in attending to daily routine activities.