The National Mental Health Survey of 2015-16 revealed that 150 million Indians suffer from mental health issues of several kinds and around 83 per cent of Indians receive no necessary care. Every fifth person in India's massive population is an adolescent aged between 10 to 19 years, whereas every third person is aged 10 to 24 years. With more than 430 million, India has the highest number of adolescents globally. A young and healthy population can act as an essential asset for the country and the forebearer of its good fortune.
However, at the same time, there is a rising demand for adequate health facilities for adolescents, children and young adults. India massively lacks sufficient physical and mental health facilities for children with disabilities, thus putting them further at risk of incurring mental health issues. Therefore, several non-profit organizations have stepped up to provide facilities for children with disabilities.
Association for People With Disabilities
The Association for People with Disabilities is a Bangalore-based NGO established in 1959 to cater to the unique needs of people with disabilities. With extensive programmes in rural and urban Karnataka, the NGO aims to equip and empower children and adults suffering from several disabilities like spinal cord injury, speech and hearing impairments, locomotive disability and cerebral palsy. Until today, the NGO has impacted and improved the lives of more than 5 lakh people.
Their work has earned them several awards, including Best Assistive Technology for Innovation among NGOs 2021 and NCPEDP-Mindtree Helen Keller Award 2019.
Sri Arunodayam Home for Mentally Challenged Destitute
The Trust was formed in 2002 to provide a much-needed home to the marginalized and disadvantaged section of the society in Chennai. The NGO ensures that children with disabilities are safe and have equal opportunities. The Trust works to provide care to mentally-challenged children and advocates for their inclusivity in mainstream society.
The organization has provided food, medical care, clothing, physiotherapy, special education and speech therapy to 106 children and reunited 77 abandoned mentally challenged children with their parents.
Astha began in 1993 with the twin objective of working with children with multiple and severe disabilities and providing information and knowledge to people with disabilities and their families. ASTHA has evolved from an institution-based organization to a community-based organization that works in urban slums. With activities that involve child art, the organization has successfully focused more on the abilities of children with disabilities.
In the 25 years of its existence, the NGO connected with more than 25,000 families and enabled more than 250 children with disabilities to access mainstream schools for inclusive education.
Family of Disabled (FoD)
FoD was a voluntary organization that Dr Rajinder Johar started in 1992 after being rendered quadriplegic after suffering an injury to his spine. The cross-disability is a voluntary organization that serves people with different disabilities. The organization strives to provide equal opportunity to people who suffer from disabilities and come from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds. Beyond Limits, Apna Rozgar Scheme (ARS), Gyanpath and Newspaper Pencils are some of the unique initiatives of FOD, which probably are also the first of their kind across the nation.
SADHANA Institute For Intellectually Challenged
Sadhana Institute is a non-profit, non-commercial, voluntary organization dedicated to the welfare of the Mentally Challenged. Established in 1993, the organization operates as a daycare and a residential centre for boys and girls who suffer from mental disabilities in India's Nacharam, Telangana and Hyderabad regions. They provide tailor-made educational programs that give these students essential life skills and fundamental concepts that will help them function as independently as possible daily. In 1996, it started with just two students and served over 180 mentally-challenged students, including boys and girls, housed in separate buildings with a common dining area.
Association for Mentally Challenged (AMC)
Association for the Mentally Challenged was the idea of the Director of All India Institute of Mental Health (currently NIMHANS, Bangalore), the dynamic and dedicated Dr D.L.N. Murthy Rao. The institution was started in 1960 under the presidency of Dr D.L.N. Murthy Rao. Initially, It was created as a bi-weekly clinic in two rooms spared by the Central Social Welfare Board. Dr Murthy Rao and his colleague, doctors, and psychologists helped run the clinic. In 1963, the clinic was shifted to a building in the compound of Shrimati Kotwala, the then Secretary of the institution and the particular school was started. The State Government granted one acre of land, and part of the present building was constructed. The institution shifted to a new facility in 1966. The association with NIMHANS continues and AMC receives support and co-operation in all areas, including assessment, consultation and guidance from NIMHANS.
AMC provides a particular school for children with special needs in the age group of 4 to 16 years. A psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist carefully examine every child before admission into the school. Moreover, the centre also provides a multi-category vocational training centre for adolescents and adults alike. Specialized workshops and daycare centres are other facilities provided by the organization for giving care to children with special needs.
Most importantly, under its initiative called Samruddhi, AMC aims of providing a model of lifelong support to the families of children with disabilities. Moreover, the centre also encourages students to participate in several team-building and outdoor activities.
At The Logical Indian, we identify the dire need to support children with disabilities to save them from mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and unnatural stress. We recognize the vision and salute the work such non-profit organizations put in to make children with disabilities an asset for the country in the coming years.
Also Read: Climate Change: Andhra, Chhattisgarh Among The Most Prone States To High-Intensity Forest Fires