JNMI - Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Institute for the Visually Handicapped

Project Brief: The basic objective NAB Sikkim, is to educate, train and rehabilitate the physically and visually challenged persons in Sikkim state. Keeping this objective in mind, the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Institute for the Handicapped (JNMIH) was established.
Project Type: Children with Disabilities (description)
Primary Focus: children with disabilities (description)

Secondary Focus: to go to formal school

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Colorado
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Minali Balaram
Project Partner(s):
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , Boomtar Namchi,South Sikkim,Boomtar,
SIKKIM  737126
Tel: 91-3595-263653
Stewarding Chapter: Colorado
Nov 2003ColoradoUSD 148
Dec 2003ColoradoUSD 50
May 2002ColoradoUSD 1130

Total = $1328

JNMIH was established in September 1987. The Association acquired about 9 acres of land in Boomtar, Namchi in South Sikkim and established a residential school for visually challenged children.

Asha Colorado began its involvement with JNMIH in early 2002. A one-time grant of $1000 was sent to fulfil the need for Braille paper at the Institute. Subsequently, Asha Colorado has been trying to expand its involvement in the project. A second period proposal was received for Braille software and Braille printers. With the help of the Asha-special focus group, and Asha Chennai, Asha Colorado was able to avail of a free Braille screen reading software known as the Multi-Lingual Editor (MLE). The MLE software is produced by Chennai-based NGO Vidya Vriksha in association with IIT Chennai.

Two teachers from JNMIH have travelled to Chennai to be trained in this software, and also transport a copy of it back to JNMIH, so that they can install it and the children can benefit from the computers that were given to the Institute by the government.

Asha Colorado is currently trying to raise funds for a Braille printer for the Institute and is also working with the Institute to address some of the concerns that were highlighted in the two site visit reports so far. Asha Colorado is also working with JNMIH to develop a proposal for recurring expenses for the Institute, so that they can provide a quality education to an increasing number of children.

Asha Kolkata and Tomorrow's Foundation are also involved in this project. Volunteers from these organizations are assisting with periodic site visits and helping the Institute in planning ahead for the long-term.

Asha Colorado aims to work with this project in the long term to deliver quality services to a larger number of children, and also address the root causes of disabilities in the area.
JNMIH runs a residential school for visually handicapped children from Grades 1-V. JNMIH prepares these children to attend mainstream government schools from Grade VI onwards. They also teach the children some basic vocational skills like candle-making, basket making etc.
NAB is a voluntary group that was formed based on the initiative taken by Mrs. Trithy Talyarkhan, the wife of the Governor of Sikkim at that time, Mr Homi J. Talyarkhan. There were no organizations to take up the cause of the physically and visually challenged in Sikkim at that time. The group was formed to fill this vaccuum.