Anbalayam, a city-based non-governmental organisation working for the cause of the mentally ill, has opened a special school for mentally retarded and autistic children at Srirangam.

The Hope Special School at Mangamma Nagar in Srirangam, a unit of Anbalayam, also houses an occupational therapy clinic set up in collaboration with the Scope Rehab Centre, Chennai, to provide professional assistance to children to improve their physical and mental capabilities. Apart from children of the special school, students with learning disabilities from regular schools would also be offered professional assistance at the clinic, according to M. Jenovah Arasi, Correspondent of the school.

The School was declared open on Thursday by R. Shyamala, District Disabled Rehabilitation Officer, and the clinic was opened by Fr. Antony Samy, Head, Department of History, St. Joseph’s College in the presence of G. Balakrishnan, former vice principal, St. Joseph’s College, P. Varadharajan, principal, R.S.K. Higher Secondary School, Victor Lazarus, Inspector, Railway Zonal Training Institute, and S. Arumugam, Occupational Therapist, Scope Rehab Centre, Chennai. Dr. Arumugam said children with psychiatric, sensory and neurological problems could benefit from training at the occupational therapy clinic.

The school would have an in-take of 40 to 50 children and would be a non-residential one. However, a few needy children could be provided accommodation, Mrs. Arasi said.

T.K.S. Senthil Kumar, founder, Anbalayam, said a vocational training centre will also function at the school to offer training in various trades for mentally retarded adults. Anbalayam has planned to start a branch of the occupational therapy clinic at K.K. Nagar in view of the perceived need for such clinics in the city.

Further details can be obtained from Mrs. Arasi at 9843373910.