Rajasthan Mahila Kalyan Mandal - Pahla Kadam

Project Brief: An inclusive school and community based rehabilitation for mentally challenged children in Ajmer district
Project Type: Special Needs (description)
Primary Focus: children with disabilities (description)

Secondary Focus: other

Area: Urban
Supporting Chapter Contact: Austin
Status: Support ended.
Project Steward: Murali Narasimhan
Project Partner(s): Kshama Kshade
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , 112/10, Civil Lines, Opp. Savatri School,,,Ajmer,
Tel: 91-145-2420635
Stewarding Chapter: Austin
May 2012AustinUSD 1758
Mar 2011AustinUSD 2458
Oct 2010AustinUSD 9144
May 2010AustinUSD 9123
Aug 2009AustinUSD 8310
Apr 2009AustinUSD 2510
Mar 2009AustinUSD 5055
Dec 2008AustinUSD 5137
May 2008AustinUSD 1375
Mar 2008AustinUSD 7000

Total = $51870

A number of prevalence studies have concluded that 2.5 to 3 percent of the general population has mental retardation. According to this assumption there are 63000 mentally retarded children & adults in Ajmer district. Most of the mentally retarded children are being denied their basic right to education.

Mental Retardation refers to significantly, sub average general intellectual functioning resulting in or associated with concurrent impairments in adaptive behaviour and manifested during the development period (Definition of American Association of Mentally Retardation Grossman 1983). It is a condition that describes children and adult who are limited in their ability to learn. They are socially immature. It characterizes an inability to participate meaningfully in play with other children. Mentally Retarded Children have inadequate adaptive skills like communication, self help, social and academic skills.

The prevalence of Mental Retardation is estimated to be approximately 3% of the population. Approximately 75% of diagnosed Mentally Retarded persons are of mild category and rest of 25% are distributed into moderate, severe and profound categories. Nearly 10% of people with Mental Retardation have associated medical conditions like epilepsy, Hyperkinesias, while 4% of all children with Mental Retardation are multiple handicapped. There are about 7.5 Million Mentally Retarded Children in India (NSSO,1991). There have been no systematic National survey to determine the prevalence of M.R. in India. However, in estimation the figures vary from 22 to 32.8 per thousand population.

Generally, mental retardation has a strong association with the family history the possibility of mentally retarded child is associated with the maternity age of before 18 and beyond 35. In rural areas the incidences of retardation is more, due to non scientific methods of delivery of the child. Such special children needs special educational care and required concerted efforts for their adjustment in the mainstream of society.

RAJASTHAN MAHILA KALYAN MANDAL has been working in the field of training and education of mentally challenged children since last 10 years. Working in this field is actually a great challenge due to the ignorance, prejudice and biases of the community about these Mentally Retarded Children.

When the organization started working on this issue, people's support was "Absolutely Nil". People had a thinking that no one can work with these children and nothing can be done for these children. These children are considered to be the "Curse of the God and sin of their past life". Due to lack of awareness and knowledge these children were deprived from their basic right of education.

Every year the organization organizes various awareness programmes and also organizes exhibition in "Pushkar" fair to sensitize the community about the problems of Mental Retardation. Organisation is also arranging parents meeting for their involvement in Training & Education of these children. Workshops and training programmes for teachers and parents are also organised by the organization. These programmes follow a two pronged approach i.e. both intervention and rehabilitation of Mentally Retarded Children.

The current proposal is also framed in this direction. Through educational and vocational training, many children are working in shops, private services and such income generating activities. They are helping their parents and have now become an integral part of society. Our organisation also arranges regular medical checkup of these children for better development. RMKM also has linkages with National Institute Mentally Handicapped (NIMH), Secunderabad and other leading institutes in this field to improvise the Educational & Vocational training of these children.

Through this project, the organization RMKM has set up an inclusive school in Ajmer where quality education is imparted to mentally challenged children and normal children together.

A parallel effort to reach out to more severely challenged children and those who are far away from the school, is done through Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program. CBR workers periodically visit the children and provide basic social and behavior skills, training on psycho-motor skills and basic education. The parents are trained as well to continue the treatment and rehabilitation at home.
RMKM was founded in 1976 mainly to provide livelihood options to women in the Ajmer district through self-help groups and private assistance.