Suganya Kandasamy runs a rehabilitation center in Chennai's Triplicane for youngsters with learning impairment. Due to social stigma and an expensive school system, these children from low-income families typically do not develop a positive perception of the world. Suganya has been assisting them by providing free speech therapy, special education, and counselling for parents and teachers.
"I've always enjoyed being around children. I used to work in banking, but I was never satisfied. After my father died eight years ago, I decided to quit my work and enroll in special education and sign language school so that I could devote my time to these children," Suganya told The New Indian Express.
Suganya, the daughter of a fisherman, is the family's breadwinner, and she claims that whatever money she receives from her classes goes toward supporting her mother and the institution.
"There are roughly 50 kids in the class. I don't charge poor children, but I charge a small fee of ₹200 every session for those who can afford it. These classes usually cost ₹ 800-1,200 each session. Despite this, I will not raise the fees," said Suganya.
Speech Treatment Is Crucial
Early discovery of a delay in communicative development is critical. Still, it is unusual among the poor since most of them are unaware of the problem and lack the resources to address it. Early language intervention is critical for children to acquire communication abilities. Suganya emphasises the importance of speech treatment, explaining that the earlier a child receives support, the better their language outcome.
"Many parents are afraid about the future of their children. In the future, she hopes to build a vocational training institute for these youngsters to be self-sufficient. These skills will assist the students in earning a living."
Suganya volunteers for several NGOs and provides occupational therapy to improve sensory processing skills (understanding, registering, and responding to sensory information), fine motor skills (for writing), attention (by improving sitting tolerance), and social behaviour, among other things (interacting with peers).