Apanjan – the near and dear one
Residential Care Programme
Children with Mental & Multiple Challenges in West Bengal, India
Apanjan started in 1999 responding to the rehabilitation need of the mentally and physically challenged children and adolescents, all of them with severe learning difficulties. Starting with 3 children, the project has since then bifurcated into four units - residential, day care, community support service and vocational training centre with nearly 250 children.
There are currently 45 boys and 8 girls in the residential home. All these children have been rescued from different areas, neglected and uncared for, as they are orphans and homeless. Utmost care has been taken to provide all of them with shelter, care, nutrition and medical treatment. They are also exposed to speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy special education. Most of the children have also been trained to develop personal and social skills while some have also been equipped with occupational and academic skills, which is of great utility in their day-to-day life. These children have been taught to peel vegetables, prepare gift bags, candles and the like. Initiatives have also been taken to begin a full-fledged vocational training centre for the adolescent boys and girls whereby they will acquire kill for a future livelihood. The children had the opportunity to have exposures of visiting Science City, which was undertaken as experimentation of observing the ability of severe mentally challenged children to socialize with strangers. They enjoyed observing the various scientific games. On another occasion the children viewed an educational cartoon-movie. This particular program was sponsored by a group of philanthropic businessmen.
Day care centre:
The Day care centre runs with six special educators, physiotherapist, speech therapist, music therapist and helper catering to 19 children of the residential homes and about 35 children from the local community. There is an arrangement for school bus which picks up and drops children attending the day care centre from the local community. It has been observed that the children are gradually reducing their dependency on their educator and trying to become self-dependent.
Weekly Community Clinic:
The Weekly Community Clinic has been set up with the intention to extend the facilities of treatment to the children in the residential homes as well as those attending the day care centre. It is well equipped with specialized doctors and health experts for rendering different therapies. A sickbay for the children in the residential homes is housed in the medical centre.
Services Provided from Apanjan:
- Residential Care Unit
- Day Care Centre
- Community Support Service
- Vocational Training Centre
Services provided from Residential Care Unit:
- Quality Shelter
- Care and Protection
- Nutritional Support
- Health support
- Psychological support to the children as well as the parents
- Special Education
- Speech Therapy
- Vocational Training
The Services of the Residential Care Unit Aim at:
- Developing a Hydro – Therapy Unit for children with cerebral palsy.
- To sustain the vocational unit
- Developing livelihood options to the adult inmates
- Providing long term residential care for children with mental & multiple challenges
- Providing clinical and nutritional support to the residents encompassing improvement in growth.
- To open a Teachers Training Institute on Special Education in collaboration with the Government.
- Training and developmental programme for care givers and other staff members
Sayanti, a girl child of eleven years, is quadriplegic. She has cerebral palsy combined with mental retardation. Sayanti has no vocal communication; only her eyes speak to those who learnt to read it. Sayanti joined the special school of Apanjan three years back. She was completely dependent in her activities of daily living. She used to bite her lips till it bled in hopeless anger and fear.Regular physiotherapy has enabled Sayanti to use her legs though the hands are still too stiff to use. Presently Sayanti can open her shoes, solve simple addition and right computer with her right leg. Sayanti is proud is a proud student of Apanjan.
Madhumanti is a 15yers old girl child with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Madhumanti joined Apanjan at November 2007. She is now working as office assistant at our Community Support Clinic and independently handling the work given to her. She is also getting the training from our Vocational Training Centre. We have achieved this success through one is to one special education training.
Samik is a 14 years old boy with mild mental retardation with IQ – 55. He had a severe problem of stammering. We had given him continuous speech therapy and a special focus on his functional academic part. The boy now can speak quite better and moreover he is giving a huge support to his father to run their grocery shop, which is the only source of income of their family.