A home for spastics and others

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HOPE FOR THE FUTURE: Children at the Samparana rehabilitation centre for spastics. - PHOTO: K. Pichumani
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE: Children at the Samparana rehabilitation centre for spastics. - PHOTO: K. Pichumani

K. Lakshmi

`Samarpana' taking care of 37 people on a shoestring budget

  • It was started 11 years ago by Bhavani Sridhar and Sridhar
  • Inmates are from poor families, other institutions or from families with aged parents

    CHENNAI: Tucked away in a northern suburb of Chennai called Vinayagapuram near Retteri, `Samarpana' is dedicated to spastics and mentally challenged persons.

    From six-year-old Sandhya, who is a spastic, to 62-year-old Lakshmi who is mentally challenged, `Samarpana' houses about 37 people, spastics and those affected with different levels of mental retardation.

    Most of them here are either from poor families, or those with ageing parents or sent here from other institutions.

    Started 11 years ago amid several hardships by a couple, Bhavani Sridhar and Sridhar, Samarpana now has 12 day scholars undergoing vocational training and physiotherapy.

    How it began

    Bhavani Sridhar and her husband, who were colleagues at the Spastics Society of Tamil Nadu, decided to start a home on their own after meeting several aged parents worried about their mentally retarded children.

    Most of the children, in the age group of 10-15 years, came to the home at the age of six months like Sulekha, a mentally challenged child, who tottered about on floppy legs.

    She has shown substantial improvement after several years of training and physiotherapy, said Mrs. Bhavani.

    Family backgrounds

    Mr. Sridhar said the adults in Samarpana shared a similar history of aged widowed mothers from economically poor backgrounds or elderly parents who could not manage them.

    Of the 16 adults, seven were severely spastic and inmates of the home since its inception. They were now self-reliant after vigorous training for several years, he said. While the inmates undergo physiotherapy, occupational therapy and vocational training sessions in the morning, they take up oral lessons in the evening.

    The couple reside at Samarpana with their son, since the inmates need individual attention.

    Funds crunch

    Though run in its own building, Samarpana lacks regular funds and manpower.

    "The campus we own created an impression that we are self sufficient. We are unable to appoint trained staff as regular funds stopped coming in," said Ms. Sridhar. The home now has three staff members. Samarpana is at 10, Subramani Nagar, Vinayagapuram, Kolathur. Ph: 25562552 or 94441 89133.


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