Autorickshaws employed for bringing kids to day care centres

The district has registered a rare achievement in the care of differently abled, with “zero home-based differently abled child” in the district. All the 467 differently abled children in the age group of 0 to 18 suffering from multiple disabilities have been attached to the 10 day care centres run under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).

It was the initiative taken by the district administration with the active participation of the SSA, Pudu Vaazhvu Thittam and the department of differently abled welfare that saw the new horizon in the form of creation of adequate day care centres.

Till a couple of years ago, the district accounted for only four day care centres – one in each block. District Collector Darez Ahamed, a qualified doctor, realising the importance of adequate facilities for the rehabilitation of youth with disabilities, got six more day care centres under the SSA. He allocated Rs. 3.35 lakh for each centre from the Collector’s discretionary funds for improving the infrastructure, besides procuring physiotherapy-related equipment and teaching learning material.

The differently abled children identified at the special screening camps were enrolled and attached to these day care centres and this enabled them get the benefits extended by the government.

In the absence of adequate day care centres, many children with disabilities remained indoors for years and the rehabilitation initiative of the government did not reach them because of the distance involved, absence of adequate trained hands, and so on.

The Collector’s initiative has brought relief to the parents of these hapless children, who undergo special education programme in the centres. Special teachers and physiotherapists had been attached to them. Till recently, one physiotherapist was in charge of two centres, but now each centre accounted for a physiotherapist. The parents could not bring their children to the centres for want of transport facilities. Now, autorickshaws have been hired for bringing these children to the day care centres every day and Rs.12,000 is earmarked for each centre for a month – Rs. 4,300 under SSA and Rs. 7,700 under Pudu Vaazhvu Thittam. The children’s performance is monitored by special teachers and their physical and behavioural patterns are monitored regularly.