Swayam, a store run by physically challenged students, turned a year old this week

Swabodhini, a school for the physically challenged, celebrated the first anniversary of Swayam, a grocery store run by their students, on August 22. The store is situated at 21/1, Avvai Nagar Main Road, Thiruvanmiyur.

Swabodhini, which began as a two-room school in 1989, is now a two-storied institution with facilities for various therapies.

It now caters to those with autism, cognitive disability, attention deficit disorder, Down's syndrome and children with delayed development, all aged between three and 25.

The school offers ‘special education' with an IEP (individual education programme) for each individual, behavioral management, computer education, occupational therapy, movement therapy, yoga, experiential learning and more. Swabodhini also has a Vocational Training Unit (VTU) for students aged above 15, focussing on various skills.

It was in this context that ‘Project Dignity' was started, and Swayam was launched to sell groceries, stationery and provide photo copying services.

Direct communication

 A training co-ordinator from the school monitors the progress, and ensures that the transactions happen with the students communicating with the consumer, and not through the pick-and-bill system that works in modern supermarkets.  

For details, call 24480888.