With the slogan of ‘because a mother’s touch is irreplaceable’, Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN) provides all required rehabilitation services free of cost to children with intellectual impairment, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, hearing impairment and multiple disabilities. It was founded by Late Sh Gurdeep Singh Chadha in 1999.
How was MBCN founded
There are a lot of unprivileged kids who does not get attention and are always not encouraged by the society. The parents of such do not feel comfortable in taking out their children in a fresh environment. To create a possibility for such kids Late Sh. Gurdeep Singh Chadha (Ponty Chadha) established an institution which will bring the physically, mentally or intellectually challenged children at par with the rest of the world. The institution was founded as an honouring gesture in the loving memory of late Smt. Bhagwanti Devi Chadha, his deceased grandmother. It is an initiative of the Ponty Chadha Foundation, the CSR arm of WAVE Group, established for the differently-abled children.
The institution that he started with only a few children with special needs aimed at touching these children’s lives in a way that made their lives considerably better and worth living as any other normal child.
Mr Manpreet Singh Chadha who is the Vice-Chairman of the Wave Group said while talking to The Logical Indian, “The Niketan is one of the very few private rehabilitation institutions that provide the services to the students free of cost. The Niketan is fully committed and dedicated to the rehabilitation of children with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism and multiple disabilities,” adding that it is trusted that these children should be loved and respected in the society just as any other normal child.
He said, “Presently the institution provides rehabilitation services to about 1000 beneficiaries. Students are endowed with free hearing aids, wheel chairs, crutches, uniform, stationary and transport, fostering independence for daily living skills in real life settings.” started with 25 special children, today it has close to 1000 kids divided in morning and evening shifts. The kids are encouraged to study and to have fun respectively,” adding that the school is completely self-funded and the main aim of our institution is to make these children independent in their lives.
How MBCN is helping specially abled children
Children in MBCN Institute are groomed and self-governed through various programs viz. Early
Intervention Programs, Special Education, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Vocational Training, Behavior Management, and Play and Recreation. They are endowed with free hearing aids, wheel chairs, crutches, uniform, stationery and bus-transport, fostering independence for daily living skills in real life settings. These children have gained expertise in various skills like calendar making, frames and gift boxes wrapping.
The Institute also provides training and counselling to the parents of these specially-abled children as it plays a very important role in dealing with the emotional problems of the parents adapting to the reality and accepting the special child.
According to them such parents equally need counselling at all critical developmental stages of the life of their children to help them to enhance their coping skills to deal with new demands posed by that child in the family.
“Parents are equally involved with professionals in the educational and training programme for the children. Most of our staff members are parents of special children and they are formally trained and registered as rehabilitation professionals with ‘Rehabilitation Council of India’”, said Dr Vandana Sharma, Director MBCN, while Talking to The Logical Indian.
Vikas Midha was suffering from mild mental retardation, general seizure and Cerebellar Ataxia. He had joined MBCN in April 2003 and he became the sales representative within just one year, due to the hard work and involvement of the experts and doctors and teachers in MBCN Institute.
“One of our kids travelled to China to teach Martial Arts to the differently abled kids, this is the power of caring and giving love to these children and making them independent,” said Dr Sharma.
When MBCN came up with innovative technology
The school has launched a picture-based application for the speech impaired and also started an initiative called Swayam-an e-commerce portal that sells products made by special children. The mobile app named ‘Vaakya’ is very helpful for those children who have speech disabilities, those who are affected by autism, cerebral palsy and other similar conditions.
“The Vaakya, the app is an augmentative and alternative communication tool which is immensely helpful for the children who are speech impaired, affected by autism and several other mental and physical conditions,” said Mr Chadha.
He further added, “The application creates a combination of images and phrases, which can be related to the user in order to help them in effective communication. The app is already working there on Google Play store free of cost and it does not rely on internet connectivity.”
The institute provides Vocational training to the students and gives them suitable employment. This is a workshop where the special children make eco-friendly paper products under the supervision of rehabilitation professionals and the profit earned by the selling those products is directly getting into the accounts of those children.
Since the school has also come up with the e-commerce portal with its school website www.mbcnschool.org, that allows the customers to buy products made by the special children of the institution under the vocational training programme.
Dr Sharma Said, “We have three retail outlets for sale in malls of Noida, Lucknow and Ludhiana,” adding that there are also many other brands out there associated with them for the placement of bulk orders of these products.
For their meticulous hardwork and zest towards the special section of children in the society and to make the world of these children a better place, MBCN Institute has been awarded Rajeev Gandhi State Award for Best CSR project in 2008 in the field of rehabilitation. They also received ‘Derozio’ award by the council for the Indian School Examinations by the Governor of Bengal in 2011 for the contribution in the field of special education, and Global Education Summit Awards for outstanding work in PWD education in the year 2016.
Specially abled children are also a part of our society, but people do not accept them as a part like other normal human beings. The only problem we face is the extreme difficulty in rehabilitating the trained students in their so called ‘Normal’ societies’. People need to be aware and very sensitive towards them, which makes us feel that there is still a long way to go.
The school came up with the innovative idea of presenting the National Anthem in sign language.