Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Vidya Sagar jointly organised ‘Enrolment Campaign' to create an awareness on inclusive education of children with disabilities. The rallies were conducted in areas of Nungambakkam, George Town and T. Nagar on July 29.

As many as 300 children, teachers and resource persons from five Chennai schools and two government-aided schools, participated in the awareness rally. They carried placards and distributed pamphlets to the public on the need to mainstream the education of children with disabilities. The campaign also intended to create an awareness about the day-care centres and resource rooms run by SSA for children with disabilities. The SSA programme is being implemented in 10 zones of the city, six of which are being handled by Vidya Sagar and the rest by The Spastic Society of Tamil Nadu. Special education, physiotherapy, resource education and snacks and milk are provided at the centres.

As many as 600 children with disabilities, identified this year, are being imparted therapy, treatment and education under the programme, said K. Abdul Wahab, district coordinator (Integrated Education for Disabled Children scheme), SSA.

Around 100 resource educators, 20 special educators and five physiotherapists have been appointed to implement the scheme, he added. Every school has a resource room with necessary physiotherapy equipment and instruments to enable additional therapies such as music, speech, etc, he added.

“Teachers in corporation schools take the responsibility and ownership of imparting education to all children equally,” said Dipti Bhatia, coordinator (Inclusive education) of Vidya Sagar, adding that many private schools are reluctant in granting admission to children with disabilities.

To remove architectural barriers and enable remedial treatment, Vidya Sagar, along with SSA, will conduct a medical camp next month to assess the orthopaedic needs of the children and provide them with necessary aids such as spectacles, wheelchairs and hearing aids.

Vasudha Venugopal and

R. Keerthana