Shishu Sarothi – A not-for-profit Civil Society Organization for Children With Disability
People with disabilities face a lot of struggles, and while it’s easy for us to talk about them, it’s equally difficult to feel their problems and understand the myriad of challenges that they face on everyday basis.
The problems and needs of children with disability often go unnoticed. Right from infrastructural barriers to lack of facilities to social discrimination – they face difficulties at every level. Be it in schools or family gatherings – they are considered to be ‘different’ and are further isolated. While these children have to deal with their own issues of accessibility and mobility, they also have to deal with a society which is largely ignorant to their problems.
We usually believe that children with disability need care and sympathy, whereas what they actually need is much more ! They need RESPECT , they need EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES and they need INCLUSION . They need proper facilities that can help them reach their full-potential and be self-sufficient. I recently came across a renowned organization, Shishu Sarothi, that works in this regard and helps the children with disability realize their dreams.
About Shishu Sarothi
Shishu Sarothi Centre For Rehabilitation and Training For Multiple Disability is a right-based, non-government, not-for-profit CSO that offers a range of services for children with physical and developmental disabilities. Based in North-East, it was established in 1987 with the main focus of empowering these children and help them live their life fully. The NGO has a vision of an inclusive world that provides equal opportunity, respect and dignity to children and persons with disabilities.
Services Provided By Shishu Sarothi For Children With Disability
1. Education – Shishu Sarothi offers inclusive, quality education along with comprehensive computer aided training programmes to children with disability. They have a special scholarship programme (Bharti Infratel Scholarship) in eight North-Eastern states of India.
2. Livelihood– Their Disability Employment Initiatives (DEI) focus on economic empowerment of persons with disability and works towards enabling their access to various employment opportunities in public and private sectors.
3.Advocacy – They focus on providing legal aid to people with disability and work to influence policy changes through advocacy. Their Disability Law Unit is a special initiative, that offers help in litigation and conducts various sensitization programs.
4. Health– The organization promotes the health and well-being of these children through early intervention and management programs. They have an Early Intervention Unit that screens and assesses delays in developmental aspects; and also a Counseling Unit that assists and counsels parents in understanding the special needs of their children.
Shishu Sarothi has many success stories to its credit. One such is of Puja Das- a girl with cerebral palsy and athetoid. She suffered delayed mental development, speech impairment, abnormal movement and muscle tone fluctuation. She was given educational and therapeutic inputs and was enrolled in Shishu Sarothi Play Group. At the end of the two terms, she was able to write alphabets and numbers, could perform her day-to-day activities and could express her feelings and needs in terms of gestures and few words. With the help of Shishu Sarothi and it’s intervention programs she was able to join a mainstream school. She participated in various arts and sports competitions and even won the first prize at running in Special Olympics 2013 held in Guwahati.
The word ‘disability’ brings along various stigmas that a physically or mentally impaired person has to deal with and it’s far to imagine their emotional state of mind as they try to fight against these stigmas and lead a normal life. Shishu Sarothi aims to promote the inclusion and active participation of these children in a non-discriminating barrier-free environment. The organization has done a lot of good work in this regard and has been awarded by the President of India for the same. It is also empanelled with Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
The good work and achievements of this organization has made me believe in their mission and support it wholeheartedly. I would urge you all to visit their website and read more about the work they do in this regard. In case you wish to contribute to their cause, you can also donate by clicking on the link here