- Samerth Talim Kendra, is a day care for special needs children in Juhapura Sarkhej cluster, a relatively impoverished locality in south-west Ahmedabad
- Project Type Children With Disabilities in rural Gujarat. Supported by Asha since September 2016
- More details on this project - budget documents and a recent visit summary - can be found on the Asha Website
World over, it is estimated that 10% of the overall population suffers from some form of disability. Their conditions exacerbate when combined with poverty, illiteracy, unawareness and consanguineous marriages. This is especially true of the children from lower socio-economic group living in the Juhapura locality of Ahmedabad, where issues related to resettlements, concern for livelihood, social and communal discrimination, and the overall general feeling of mistrust add to an already dismal scenario. In these communities a child born with a disability is destined for a life of dependency. For the poor this burden can be extreme. Disabled children are a social, financial, mental and physical burden to their families. Due lack of knowledge and skills of the family, these children do not get the appropriate help they need. They do not go to school and hardly leave their homes. It has been observed that families often favor a healthy child over a disabled child, when it comes to food and attention. These children are either hidden from the society or are disowned by parents. Due to the high level of illiteracy, the families do not understand or know about schemes and benefits provided by the government for these children. Also, parents would feel guilty about having a disabled child due to misbelieves and fear. Family and neighbors would also encourage that feeling of guilt and a lot of mothers are left alone to care of their child. Despite having an impressive and relatively better health care delivery system amongst all the Indian states, disability has been largely an ignored issue in Gujarat state. Further, the early identification of disability and appropriate rehabilitation intervention is not the focus area for public health care providers. The aim of this project is to provide support and services to the disabled children and their families as well as create awareness regarding disability in community, encourage early detection and dispel myths and misbelieves associated with it.